The Carolina Panthers remained red hot while beating down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the tune of 42-28 on Sunday.
Not only was it the team’s third straight win to bump their record to 6-2, it was against a divisional rival and their 5th straight home win to start the season.
By all accounts, Panthers fans and players should be ecstatic as they remain just a game behind the 7-1 New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.
But one player took it upon himself to be a dour malcontent amid the festivities. That player was noted anthem protester, and the first Panthers player to ever kneel during the anthem, Eric Reid.
Just to preface how much of a sourpuss Reid was being, it should be noted that Reid received the game ball after the team’s win on Sunday. Reid notched three tackles and an interception in the win, and the team commended him for his performance. In fairness, he absolutely deserved the recognition as he played some of his best football since his lone Pro Bowl year in 2013.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 4, 2018
What was Reid’s response to being honored by his teammates and coaches? He made it about the originator of the anthem protests, Colin Kaepernick.
Following the game, Reid appeared on ESPN Radio where he made what should’ve been a great team accomplishment into something about Kaepernick (who, like Reid, has an ongoing collusion grievance against the NFL).
“Im happy to be able to help the Panthers win, but until @Kaepernick7 gets back in the league, I cant be wholly happy.”
— Andrew Hawkins (@Hawk) November 4, 2018
“I’m happy to be able to help the Panthers win, but until (Kaepernick) gets back in the league, I can’t be wholly happy,” Reid said.
That is such an asinine and mind-boggling take from Reid, it’s almost beyond comprehension.
Is he so selfish and out of touch that he can’t even take a genuinely good and fun moment without making it about his friend, whom many find extremely disrespectful?
Sadly, this is hardly the first time Reid has shown his true colors. It was just days before the Panthers game that he openly claimed that Carolina coach Ron Rivera “had no choice” but to support his anthem protests. It should be noted that Rivera is a strong supporter of the military with familial military roots.
Now, it’s one thing to love and support your friends. But team sports are also about camaraderie with those you take the field with. Imagine being a teammate with someone who can’t be “wholly happy” even though the team is very much in contention for a playoff spot.
Perhaps the most ironic part of all is that Reid is proving the point of many people who disagree with anthem protests in terms of how it can affect a diverse locker room. People have argued that one potentially major reason Kaepernick has yet to find employment in the NFL is because of the way his rhetoric could divide a locker room and negatively impact team chemistry.
It’s not abundantly clear if Reid is doing that, but you couldn’t blame a teammate for feeling miffed about playing with someone whose tunnel vision is so singularly focused on people who have nothing to do with the team itself.
At the end of the day, Reid is just perpetuating the stereotype that anthem protesters only care about themselves. And that’s a shame for a Panthers team that has an outside chance to win a Super Bowl this year.
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