Last week, former 49er safety and noted anthem protester Eric Reid, said that he felt his protests were hurting his chances of landing a job.
He further said that if any NFL owners out there had a problem with him standing up against “systematic oppression,” that their “mindset is part of the problem too.”
This week, Eric Reid is singing an entirely different tune.
Reid, who was the first of Colin Kaepernick’s teammates to join him in kneeling during the national anthem, says he will not protest the national anthem if he’s signed to a roster in 2018.
“I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country to improve on,” Reid told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I don’t think it’ll be in the form of protesting during the anthem. And I said ‘during’ because it’s crazy to me that the narrative got changed to we were protesting the anthem, because that wasn’t the case. But I think we’re going to take a different approach to how to be active.”
Reid’s about face on the issue should come as no surprise. Without the robust social justice backing that Colin Kaepernick has received as the face of the protest movement, Reid needs football a lot more than Kaepernick does.
Though, Reid has more than just protesting hurdles to overcome. The LSU product was moved from his natural position of safety, to weakside linebacker last year. A player without a defined position, can be looked upon as an investment risk by some clubs.
Either way, with the very real likelihood of not collecting an NFL paycheck looming over his head, it seems Reid has decided that the struggle has become a bit too real.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn