A new report reveals that some NFL players were considering sitting out this season until former 49ers players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are re-signed.
The report came via The Intercept writer and activist Shaun King, speaking out on Twitter by revealing that unnamed NFL athletes are seeking 25 percent of athlete support on the potential protest.
BREAKING: Several star @NFL players have told me they are considering sitting out the season until the de facto ban of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick is removed and both men are given spots back on rosters.
They aim to get 25% of the players to sit out with them.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 27, 2018
Kaepernick, the controversial quarterback who last played in 2016, has remained unsigned since he left the 49ers in what many believe to be because of his National Anthem protest that ended up sparking national interest. Eric Reid was a teammate of Kaepernick in 2016 as well, and joined in on the protest along with many others in and around the league. The 26-year-old strong safety played 13 games with the 49ers last season.
Both athletes filed a grievance against the NFL for what they believe was a colluded effort by NFL team owners to keep them from being signed. In regards to the man that went on to be GQ’s Citizen of the Year, reports revealed that Kaep was viewed as a “starting caliber quarterback” during his free agency in 2017. Reid, on the other hand, is a one-time Pro Bowl safety that recorded 67 tackles and two interceptions last season — a stat line that normally wouldn’t keep a player unsigned for too long.
Kaepernick’s protest was intended to make a statement about police violence against Black men and women in America, but many others, including President Donald Trump, argued that it was disrespectful to the United States military.
The NFL recently set a rule in place that requires players to stand for the National Anthem or wait in the locker room until after it’s over, a move that has been argued as a violation of First Amendment rights. Any player who chooses to kneel during the National Anthem will be fined by the league.
Many NFL players have been vocal about their distaste for the new rule and even prompted New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson to agree to pay any fine that Jets players receive for protesting during the anthem.