NFL owner grills free agent anthem protester into flip-flopping


No NFL player has protested the national anthem longer than Eric Reid.

When he was with the San Francisco 49ers, Reid joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick in taking a knee for the anthem in September 2016, and the safety continued to protest through last season.

Now Reid is a free agent in search of a new team.

The five-year veteran — apparently worried that his divisive political demonstrations might limit his job opportunities — announced last month he no longer will protest during the anthem.

“From the beginning, Colin has been flexible,” Reid told reporters. “He started by sitting — he changed it up. We decided to kneel. And we understand that you’ve got to change with the times.

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“I’m not going to say that I’m going to stop being active, because I won’t. I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country — to improve the issues happening in this country.”

On Monday, Reid visited the Cincinnati Bengals and met one-on-one with owner Mike Brown, according to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio.

Florio, citing “a source with knowledge of the situation,” said Brown told Reid he plans to prohibit anthem protests by Bengals players next season.

Do you think it's fair for an NFL owner to ask Reid whether he'll continue his anthem protests?

The owner asked him for a response.

According to the NBC report, Reid “wasn’t willing to make a commitment on the spot.”

Florio said the safety “hasn’t made any final decisions” about whether he’ll stop protesting and “wasn’t willing to do so at the direct request and behest of Brown.”

Reid also took a physical and met with Bengals coaches, but he left Cincinnati without a contract.

NBC asked the team to comment on Reid’s interview and received the following statement: “The Club conducts many interviews with players throughout the year. The Club views these interviews as confidential and does not comment on them.”

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Some were outraged that Bengals ownership would try to pin Reid down on his protesting plans.

However, one of Florio’s media colleagues, Ross Tucker, responded, “Of course it did.”

“Leaking this definitely won’t help his cause that’s for sure,” he tweeted.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami
Phoenix, Arizona
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Politics, Media, Sports