Carolina Panthers’ safety Eric Reid is a former teammate, friend and advocate of Colin Kaepernick. The two played together on the San Francisco 49ers from 2013-2016. Reid has supported Kaepernick from the beginning and per USA Today Sports, he even joined Kaepernick in filing collusion grievances against the NFL. The two claimed that “team owners were denying them the right of employment because of their outspoken views on social inequality.”
Kaepernick has yet to be picked up by an NFL team since he parted ways with the 49ers in 2016. Though, things may be taking a turn for the former quarterback as the NFL scheduled a workout for Kaepernick this Saturday, per ESPN. A lot of buzz followed this announcement as the word made breaking news almost immediately. Following the report, Reid voiced his opinion. According to ESPN, Reid said, “I’ll believe it when I see it. At this point, it feels like a PR stunt.”
Eric Reid’s Opinion
USA Today Sports revealed that Reid was skeptical about the workout. Reid said, “It feels disingenuous. They told Colin that he has the opportunity. … But it’s the Saturday before a game. Teams are traveling on Saturdays. What head coach or GM is going to be able to make this trip? But, as far as I know, Colin is going to be there and he’s going to perform, cause I know he’s ready.”
ESPN reported that coaches/representatives for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals are expected to be in attendance at Saturday’s workout. The workout is to give Kaep the opportunity to showcase his talents and possibly sign with a team next season.
Again, Reid was unimpressed. In a video posted by B/R Gridiron, the Panthers safety alluded to the idea that the opportunity wasn’t enough. He even quoted Malcolm X saying, “If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress, there’s still a knife in my back.”
Colin Kaepernick’s History With the NFL
Kaepernick was drafted in the NFL by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 and started his professional career in 2012. He began as a backup quarterback to former 49er’s starting quarterback, Alex Smith. Smith suffered an injury during the middle of the 2012 season, so Kaep was brought up to the starting quarterback position. He led the team to their first Superbowl appearance since 1994.
Things started to get rocky for the former quarterback in 2016. Kaepernick made the decision to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice and systematic oppression in the country. This sparked a huge uproar, as many people disagreed with the NFL player’s decision to not stand. After a lot of support and backlash a political debate on the player’s protest erupted. In 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with San Francisco and was unsuccessful in signing with a different team.
To this day, Kaepernick claims that he has been practicing and conditioning as he waits for an opportunity to sign with a team. Though it is possible that Reid is correct in his skepticism it is also possible that he is wrong. Kaepernick and the rest of the public will have to wait until this weekend to see if this opportunity was the big break Kaepernick has been hoping for.