A pair of 49ers starters plan to do things a little differently this year.
San Francisco safety Eric Reid and outside linebacker Eli Harold intend to stand during the national anthem this season after kneeling alongside former teammate Colin Kaepernick in 2016,
“Our goal was open the floor to conversation,” Reid told reporters Wednesday, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “I believe we achieved that goal. So now we just want to move forward and partner with people that are trying to make a change. … I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country and now it’s time to move on to just affecting change and not doing the gesture during the anthem.”
Kaepernick has also vowed to stand during the anthem this year, though he has yet to find a new team after opting out of the final year of his contract in San Francisco earlier this offseason. Numerous reports have indicated NFL front offices blackballed Kaepernick so as to avoid a perceived distraction.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” Reid said. “People want to shy away from him because of media PR reasons. And it’s sad. You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there.
“He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation, without the anthem, they would be praising him and giving him awards for it. So I just think it’s sad that this is the situation. But I’m rooting for him, I’m praying for him.”
The trio of Niners were among a number of players who kneeled during the anthem in protest prior to preseason and regular season games last year.