Panthers' Eric Reid plans to continue kneeling during national anthem

Panthers' Eric Reid plans to continue kneeling during national anthem
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Carolina Panthers defensive back Eric Reid plans to continue kneeling during the national anthem throughout the 2019 NFL season. 

Reid, who was one of the first professional athletes to take part in the on-field protest, told The Charlotte Observer on Sunday that he will stop kneeling during the national anthem once he feels like issues related to racial justice have been addressed. 

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“If a day comes that I feel like we’ve addressed those issues, and our people aren’t being discriminated against or being killed over traffic violations, then I’ll decide it’s time to stop protesting,” Reid said. “I haven’t seen that happen.”

Reid, who was a member of the San Francisco 49ers before joining the Panthers in 2018, added that he feels like things are "going backwards."

“You’d like to think we’re past certain things, the way we treat people," he said. "I thought we were at a time where you love your neighbor as yourself. But as I’ve studied history -- it hasn’t repeated itself necessarily, but it’s dressed a little different and is acting the same.”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. 
 
Reid, teammates with Kaepernick at the time, became one of the first professional athletes to join him in the demonstration. 
 
Reid became a free agent following the 2017 season and speculated that his lack of interest from franchises was because of his protest. He was later signed by the Panthers in September 2018. He was the only member of the team to kneel during the national anthem during his first game back. 
 
Kaepernick and Reid announced in February that they had reached settlements with the NFL regarding their collusion grievances against the league. The two had accused the NFL and team owners of colluding to keep them out of the league over their protests. 
 
Kaepernick has not signed with an NFL franchise since becoming a free agent following the 2016 season.