Panthers safety Eric Reid has gotten plenty of attention since calling Eagles counterpart Malcolm Jenkins a “sellout,” and after Sunday’s win over the Ravens, Reid went into greater detail about their disagreement.
In short, Reid thinks Jenkins and other players “co-opted” Colin Kaepernick’s protests of police brutality and racial inequality for their own ends, and their disagreement came to a head last week.
Reid said it was clear to him last fall when Players Coalition members met with owners that the goal was simply to make the noise created by the protests to go away.
“We were brought in under the premise that the NFL wanted to use their resources to help the black community,” Reid said, via Joe Person of The Athletic. “We established within the first five minutes of that meeting that we weren’t there to negotiate an end to the protest. After about an hour and a half of talking, [Texans owner] Bob McNair says I think the elephant in the room is this protesting. [Bills owner] Terry Pegula follows up with, ‘Yeah, I’ve already lost two sponsors from my hockey team. We need to put a Band-Aid on this and we need a black figurehead to do it.’
“[Eagles owner Jeffrey] Lurie says, ‘We can do more for the black community that you can ever imagine with our resources.’ Bob McNair then says, ‘Yeah, just make sure you tell your comrades to stop that protesting business.’”
Reid also said that Jenkins asked him last November if a $5 million donation by the league would be enough to get him to stop kneeling during the national anthem, or what amount might be enough.
Jenkins has taken the high road regarding Reid’s initial comments, and has tried to keep the focus on the work being done by players in communities — work being helped by the significant donation by owners. Other players have rallied around Jenkins — who has taken the lead on plenty of positive steps — but it’s clear that there’s a fundamental difference in approach between him and Reid that’s not going to be bridged any time soon.