The few remaining NFL anthem kneelers like to claim they are on the moral high ground.
They like to claim that theirs is the most important movement, as they seek to end alleged injustices and violence against black men.
They also truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that they are 100 percent, emphatically right.
So what does an anthem kneeler do when another NFL star, perhaps one whose more conservative and Christian beliefs fly directly in the face of their more radical leftist ideologies, tells them they’re wrong? Apparently, the answer is to commit acts of violence against another black man.
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, one of the few remaining anthem kneelers in the NFL, has been in the headlines a lot lately. In particular, Reid has been bashing rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter over his new partnership with the NFL.
Part of Reid’s tirade against Jay-Z seemed to be the notion that his and Colin Kaepernick’s social justice movement was somehow better and more important than anyone else’s. Any social justice work that others, like Jay-Z or Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins may have done? It’s all “pretend,” according to Reid.
“I could be completely wrong, but since the $89 million announcement with the Players Coalition, what’s come of that?” Reid said last Friday, per ESPN. “We get to pretend we care about social justice. We get to pretend we care about the black community, and we get to hide behind Malcolm Jenkins’ face, and we get to hide behind Jay-Z’s face and not do anything.”
New England Patriots tight end and outspoken Christian Benjamin Watson took issue with Reid’s remarks and responded on Twitter.
Quote starts with “”I could be completely wrong, but since…”
Yes @E_Reid35 you are wrong! You know the work many of us including @MalcolmJenkins have done. No one entity owns this movement. We are all a continuation of the generations who fought before us. We need each other https://t.co/C154KIvD1X
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) August 18, 2019
“Yes [Reid] you are wrong! You know the work many of us including [Jenkins] have done. No one entity owns this movement. We are all a continuation of the generations who fought before us. We need each other,” Watson said in a fairly classy rebuttal.
Just to be clear, Watson also firmly believes that Reid’s best friend, Colin Kaepernick, deserves an NFL job.
I addressed in a later tweet what has happened. And no Kap should not be a casualty. He is good enough to play and should be playing
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) August 19, 2019
So what was Reid’s response to a fellow social justice advocate and Kaepernick supporter who just happens to disagree with him on a few issues? Deliver a brutal and dirty cheap shot in a meaningless preseason NFL game.
Here’s the late hit by Eric Reid on Ben Watson which led to a possible injury for Watson.pic.twitter.com/ck4dMxga35
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 23, 2019
There’s no way around it. That’s an indefensibly dirty, late hit. Reid (No. 25) appears to be the third Panthers player to make contact with Watson (No. 84). And Watson is very clearly down and on the ground when Reid comes flying in with a shoulder to Watson’s head.
Here’s another clip that shows the play in real time, and you can see that Reid leaves his feet well after Watson’s shoulders and rear touch the ground.
— The 300s (@The300sBoston) August 23, 2019
And if there was any doubt that it was a late hit, just ask Reid’s coach, Ron Rivera.
Eric Reid on his hit on Ben Watson: “I was just trying to make sure I stopped him before he got to the first down. I talked to Ron (Rivera). He told me it was late. I’ll look at the film, (but) if Ron said it was late I believe him.”
— Joe Person (@josephperson) August 23, 2019
The Boston Globe reported that Watson is officially in the concussion protocol.
Unsurprisingly, Reid maintains his innocence. According to NBC Sports Boston, Reid claimed he was trying to make a defensive play and that he didn’t even know about Watson’s tweet.
“Just trying to stop him from getting a first down,” Reid said of the play. “I looked at the replay. Yeah, he was down. We’ll see what the league decides to do with it. I anticipate myself getting a fine. But I’m just playing the game.”
“I didn’t even know he tweeted me,” Reid said. “That’s not even something you process in a game. I’m not analyzing who has the ball in their hand and what they tweeted at me while I’m playing the game.”
So either it was an incredibly dirty and sloppy play, which has no place in the NFL, or Reid was retaliating over a tweet. Either way, it’s not the best look for the self-proclaimed only social justice movement that actually matters in the NFL.
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