Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports



On Sunday, hundreds of NFL players took part in a unified protest in response to controversial comments made Friday night by President Trump saying that team owners should "fire" any player who disrespects the flag. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid was not among them because his team played the night before the comments were made. However, Reid has been kneeling in protest since last year, when he joined former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

While Reid has not been available to comment on President Trump's remarks since they were made, the 49ers safety did write an op-ed piece for The New York Times, which was published on Monday.

In the piece, Reid explains what prompted his desire to take some sort of action after watching violence across the nation.

"In early 2016, I began paying attention to reports about the incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police," Reid wrote. "The posts on social media deeply disturbed me, but one in particular brought me to tears: the killing of Alton Sterling in my hometown Baton Rouge, La. This could have happened to any of my family members who still live in the area. I felt furious, hurt and hopeless. I wanted to do something, but didn't know what or how to do it."

Kaepernick's protest against what he described as "unjust" actions kicked off a few weeks later and gained notoriety. Reid writes that his faith moved him to take action with his quarterback, citing James 2:17 as further inspiration.

The Bible passage reads, "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead," according to the English Standard Version translation.

Reid and Kaepernick kicked off a discussion of ways to use their platform to speak for those who do not necessarily have a voice. They even enlisted the advice of Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former NFL player, who recommended that the two kneel as a way to peacefully and respectfully protest rather than sit.

"I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy," wrote Reid.

Many believe that the protests are disrespectful to the flag, what it represents, and the military. Reid has called that a "false narrative."

"We chose it because it's exactly the opposite," wrote Reid. "It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest."

Reid also commented on the remarks made Friday night by President Trump, which quickly came under fire.

"And it's disheartening and infuriating that President Trump has referred to us with slurs but the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., as 'very fine people,'" wrote Reid. "His remarks are a clear attempt to deepen the rift that we've tried so hard to mend."

You can read the entire op-ed piece here.

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