The NFL's most notorious (and perhaps most unpopular) quarterback Colin Kaepernick is thanking a fellow footballer for choosing to kneel on the sidelines when the national anthem begins to play. In an interview, San Francisco 49er Eric Reid explained that he and Kaepernick have no regrets.
The way he sees it, they're a couple of martyrs.
He and Kaepernick succeeded in raising awareness about the causes they were fighting for, Reid noted, but he was upset over the "false narrative" being spun in the media. They are not "un-American" and against the police and the military, he insisted, before mentioning the violence in Charlottesville.
"The country sees what an un-American protest really looks like," he said.
In contrast, his is "a peaceful protest fueled by faith and God." It is wholly American, he argued, because the intent is to ensure equality for all Americans.
Last summer, when Kaepernick started kneeling before his NFL games, he explained that he was refusing to stand for the national anthem as a means of protesting what he perceived was an increasing rate of police brutality, referencing the deaths of Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, and Tamir Rice.
"You're supposed to be protecting us, not murdering us, and that's what the issue really is and we need to change that," he said at the time.
Plenty of football fans perceived his message and his kneeling as a slap in the face to law enforcement, and as such they greeted him with boos at just about every game he played the rest of the season.
Kaepernick, having opted out of his contract with the 49ers, is searching for a team. As for Reid, he said he plans on kneeling throughout the 2017-18 season.