The Cincinnati Bengals asked Eric Reid about whether or not he continues to plan on kneeling during the national anthem.
On Monday, ex-49ers and current free agent safety Eric Reid stopped by Cincinnati to visit with the Bengals. Reports indicate that while the interview had been going well, it took an unexpected and awkward turn when the Bengals brought up the issue of the national anthem. They were seeking a commitment from Reid to remain standing during the playing of the anthem. It was a commitment they wouldn’t get, and the free agent left Cincinnati no closer to landing a job.
There are many strong opinions on this subject across the country. Many believe that it is a players right to exercise their freedom of speech and expression by taking a knee. Others believe when a player takes a knee, they are disrespecting the United States and the U.S. Military.
It is a risky stance for Reid to take. NFL ratings were down nearly 10 percent for the 2017 season and kneeling for the national anthem was arguably a contributing factor to that decline. Many people decided that they were not going to support a league that they believe was not fully supporting the country. While kneeling during the anthem was a stance on racial inequality and not about patriotism, there are legions who don’t see it that way.
The bottom line is, the NFL is a business, and teams are the employers. If an owner wants you to stand for the anthem, it is in your personal best interests to do so wile remaining active in your beliefs in ways outside of work.
Reid has every right to stand up against any injustices he feels strongly about. I encourage him to go out and speak to people about his beliefs, attend city council meetings and donate money to worthy causes.