The NFL and its players held a four hour meeting in New York City on Tuesday, and San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid was among those in attendance. He was joined by Jed York, Anquan Boldin, Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith, and a host of players and owners.
After the meeting, he spoke with MMQB columnist Jenny Vrentas. He said the protests during the National Anthem were a very small part of the meetings. Instead, the meetings were more about discussing the issues that are the reason for the protests. Reid said he does not think a rule change is coming that would force players to stand during the Anthem.
There has been a focus by many on the form of protest, with many choosing to ignore the reasons for the protests. The parties involved have all said they want to push this more towards action and the underlying reasons for the protest. While plenty of kneelers have been pushing on this, the narrative has run counter to that. These meetings won’t stop a lot of people from complaining about the protests, but it will hopefully push this forward a bit more.
The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement after the meeting.
Today owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities. NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.
As we said last week, everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military. In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.
Fooch’s update: Malcolm Jenkins said Colin Kaepernick was invited to the meeting.
Also in interview with ESPN Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins says Colin Kaepernick was invited to today’s meeting & didn't come.— Stephanie Wash (@WashNews) October 17, 2017
Here are comments Reid made to Vrentas.
The anthem was a very small part of players' meeting with owners. "I don't think they can make a rule change," says 49ers safety Eric Reid.— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) October 17, 2017
Reid: "The point of the meeting was to discuss these issues and how they are all of our issues."— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) October 17, 2017
Reid, wearing an "I stand with Kap" t-shirt, said he will continue to kneel for the anthem.— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) October 17, 2017
Reid explained: "We started this to raise awareness and effectuate change. We're on the path to making the change we think we can make..."— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) October 17, 2017
Reid added, "we just aren't there yet."— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) October 17, 2017