Reid hopes Trump com­ments raise aware­ness about race is­sues

Ripon Bulletin - - Sports -

SANTA CLARA (AP) — Eric Reid said he hopes that the crit­i­cism Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump di­rected at NFL play­ers protest­ing dur­ing the na­tional an­them will help bring aware­ness to the is­sues that for­mer San Fran­cisco 49ers team­mate Colin Kaeper­nick hoped to raise when he be­gan his protest last year.

Kaeper­nick sat dur­ing the na­tional an­them be­cause of po­lice bru­tal­ity and racial dis­crim­i­na­tion and the protest grew with a hand­ful of other play­ers like Reid join­ing Kaeper­nick. It be­came much more ex­ten­sive Sun­day when the 49ers had the day off.

More than 200 NFL play­ers kneeled or raised fists dur­ing the an­them and al­most three en­tire teams stayed in the locker room in re­sponse

to Trump say­ing NFL own­ers should fire play­ers who kneel dur­ing the an­them and de­scrib­ing those protesters with the term “son of a bitch.”

“I was con­fused,” Reid said Wed­nes­day. “I didn’t re­ally un­der­stand why he said what he said. It’s ob­vi­ously frus­trat­ing. I think he gave us the op­por­tu­nity to make some­thing pos­i­tive come out of it.”

Reid said some of the is­sues he and Kaeper­nick are con­cerned about are po­lice bru­tal­ity against mi­nori­ties, so­cial in­jus­tice,

un­fair in­car­cer­a­tion rates for mi­nori­ties and a bail sys­tem that keeps many peo­ple locked up be­fore they have been con­victed of a crime.

He cited sta­tis­tics from Har­vard Ph.D. can­di­date Clint Smith and talked about how many New Deal poli­cies in the 1930s ex­cluded many mi­nori­ties and have helped cre­ate is­sues of in­equal­ity that re­main today. He also talked about an op-ed piece he wrote for The New York Times this week ex­plain­ing the protests.

“That’s the amaz­ing and beau­ti­ful thing about the plat­form we have as pro­fes­sional ath­letes, for some rea­son peo­ple

want to lis­ten to us,” Reid said. “I don’t know why. There are peo­ple who are a lot smarter than me who don’t have the same plat­form that pro­fes­sional ath­letes have.”

With the 49ers hav­ing the week­end off after play­ing last Thurs­day night, Reid had the op­por­tu­nity to watch the protests around the league.

He spoke fre­quently with Kaeper­nick, whom he calls the leader of the move­ment that has crossed over to other sports with Oak­land Ath­let­ics catcher Bruce Maxwell also kneel­ing dur­ing the na­tional an­them and many NBA play­ers ex­press­ing their anger at Trump.


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