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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan and Eric Reid discuss continued protest

Aug 27, 2017 at 8:56 PM


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Last season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick dominated headlines by kneeling in protest during the national anthem. Once he explained his reasoning to his San Francisco 49ers teammates, he was joined by two of them in ensuing games. One of those teammates was safety Eric Reid, who knelt with Kaepernick even after suffering a torn biceps injury in November, ending his season.

Reid continued his protest by kneeling during the national anthem prior to Sunday's preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. While he did so alone this time, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin stood by his side with his hand on Reid's right shoulder.

Following the 49ers' 32-31 loss at U.S. Bank Stadium, head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Reid's continued protest.

"He didn't tell me," Shanahan said. "He told our [public relations] staff so I was aware of it. I knew it was going to happen but him and I never talked personally."

"I've got no issue," Shanahan continued. "Everyone's allowed to do what they want to do. I heard about it before the game but it wasn't even worth talking about. I had to get ready for the game."

Reid spoke to reporters following the game and said that he was glad that the protest with Kaepernick helped to spread awareness but didn't appreciate the false narrative that went along with it.

"People were saying that we were un-American, that we were against police entirely, and the military, and that just wasn't true," Reid said. "And at first, I thought that was a small sacrifice to pay to get the word out, to raise that awareness. And I settled with raising that awareness was victory. And then fast forward to Charlottesville and the country sees what an un-American protest really looks like and that's when I had my change of heart.

"What Colin, Eli, and I did was a peaceful protest fueled by our faith in God to help make our country a better place and I feel like I need to regain control of that narrative and not let people say that what we're doing is un-American because it's not. It's completely American. We're doing it because we want equality for everybody. We want our country to be a better place. That's why I decided to resume the protest."


The fifth-year player said that he plans to continue to kneel throughout the 2017 season. Reid, the 49ers' starting strong safety, is entering the final year of his contract with the team. He and linebacker Eli Harold were the players who knelt with Kaepernick in 2016. Harold, who was recently named the 49ers' starting strong-side linebacker following the release of veteran Ahmad Brooks, has stood for the national anthem during each of the team's three preseason games this year.

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