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San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid was a guest on 95.7 The Game today and had a lengthy discussion on the Damon Bruce Show. Here is what he had to say.
On the choice to join quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his national anthem protest.
"Well, when I talked to him, I felt the same convictions that he was having. There's a lot of issues happening in this country that need to be addressed and the way to do that is to bring awareness to it. So following my faith, I felt that I had to do something so I took a knee with him to bring awareness to those issues."
On what the two are doing to move from awareness to actual change and action.
"We're trying to link up with the right people who can actually make that change happen. You know, politicians and lawmakers. People who can get the policies changed that allow our system to be the way it is. And if we're talking about police, they're allowed to shoot first and ask questions later. And I was talking to many military personnel, and they go to the most dangerous places in the world, and their policy is that they don't shoot unless they're being shot at so I think we should have similar policies here at home. And so to answer the question, it's to link up with the actual people that can make those changes like politicians and lawmakers and lobbyists as well as getting into the community and educating people on how to keep themselves out of those situations."
Did he think that this would be one of the biggest sports stories of the year?
"I think we were able to foresee the amount of power that it can have. Enough people said 'Hey, there are issues in this country' and enough people were willing to voice their opinion about how they felt about those issues. We thought it could be very powerful. I think it's still growing. I think it's just the beginning. And we really believe that we can change the way our country operates. And it's very simple. It's a very simple message. We have to do a better job of preserving life no matter what the situation. For people to die the way they die in this country is just unacceptable and so we got to change it."
On if he is surprised by the amount of people joining them and if he is disappointed that it isn't more.
"The only thing that I would feel disappointed about is guys doing – they're in a situation of a person like we're talking about – where they feel like their job is on the line if they were to do such a thing. To turn off other teams if they were going to be a free agent and they don't want other teams to be put off because they're doing the protest. And I think that's another issue that we have. But I would never force of pressure anybody to do something that they didn't feel comfortable doing. But I just think it's a say situation that our work environment leads people to feel that way."
On the public ridicule that they may receive when the choose tons and again.
"Well first and foremost, what I'll say is that me and Colin feel the exact same way. When I say that, we aren't doing this to please anybody. We're doing it for the people who don't have a voice and the platform that we have to speak for themselves. And so we could care less – we couldn't care less what people say on the internet. Let's be real. Racism is alive and well. People are very confident on the internet, hiding behind the keys on their keyboard. We don't do it for those people. We're doing it to make change. Actual change for people and we're trying to save lives and the internet is the last thing on our list of things to worry about."
Reid said that, while he doesn't watch the Comedy Central show South Park, Kaepernick and he watched the episode that addressed the protest and laughed about it. They laughed because of how fast the show was able to address the situation.
On what quarterback Blaine Gabbert has looked like in practices.
"Blaine looks good in practice. I think its' a situation where we've just been shooting ourselves in the foot in the game. We've been hurting ourselves and putting ourselves in really tough situations. And we've got to do a better job of getting off the field on defense on third down and staying on the field on third down as far as the offense goes. We just nee dot do a better job of helping ourselves out."
On what needs to be improves upon before the Cowboys game on Sunday.
"Again, it's third down. When we look at Seattle, we got them to 3rd-and-10, 3rd-and-12, 3rd-and-14, 3rd-and-15, 3rd-and-17, and they converted all of those. So we have to get off the field on third down. We can't get penalties on third downs, extend their drives. If we take away those plays, those third down plays, I think we have a lot better shot of winning the game. So first on defense is getting off the field."
On how the absence of Dez Bryant changes the game plan against Dallas.
"Well if you watch any film on Dez, he's constantly double covered. Whether there's a safety over the top of him or he's just has two defenders on him at all times. So when he's not on the field, you can use that body elsewhere. Whether that's on [Jason] Whitten or whether that's on their slot receivers. So if he's not on the field, it helps you out a lot on defense."
Can Reid believe he is already on his fourth year in the NFL?
"It's crazy fast. I feel like yesterday I just got drafted. Now I'm one of the older guys in my room so it definitely – time flies."
Is he passing on his wisdom to the next generation?
"No doubt. Trying to spread some knowledge just like it was spread to me. Trying to help the younger guys get older quickly because we got some young guys in our room that have to play this weekend. I'm just trying to enjoy the moment because it can be over at any minute."
As a defensive player, what is it like playing for Chip Kelly?
"Training camp was tough because everybody knows about that tempo that he likes to operate in. At the same time, it was probably the easiest training camp that I've been a part of because of the way he works us. We have hard days and we have easy days and we get to sleep a lot so I'm definitely loving that he is interested inner recovery. I think it will help us as the season gets long."
Reid went on to discuss the dismissal of head coach Les Miles at LSU and how he was not surprised by it. He just did not think it was fair to the players for it to occur in the middle of the season. He also discussed his diaper changing skills. In addition to another child, Reid and his wife have a six week old baby.
You can listen to the entire interview on 95.7 The Game.