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The first player who kneeled along with Colin Kappernick has ended his spell of NFL exile

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Eric Reid was the first NFL player to join former teammate Colin Kappernick in the Quarterback's protest against racial injustice in the United States and two weeks ago he ended his spell of unemployment by signing with play-off contenders the Carolina Panthers.

Reid, the free safety, filed a collusion grievance against the NFL in May earlier this year, alleging he had been kept out the league due to his political stance.  

Reid's last deal with the San Francisco 49ers expired in March and with his level of quality, including a Pro Bowl appearance in 2013 as a rookie after being a first-round draft pick and having a solid NFL career since, it's difficult to see why he's been out of the game for so long.

Reid was confident that similarly to Kappernick he was being made unemployed due to nothing but his political view rather than anything physical or financial reasoning.  

 “The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think [it] is, then your mindset is part of the problem too,” Reid wrote on Twitter earlier this year.

Former 49ers quarterback Kappernick, who appeared in the Super Bowl in 2013 took to Twitter to congratulate his former teammate.

“Congrats 2 my brother @e_reid35, all pro safety who should have been signed the 1st day of free agency, who has signed a football contract,” wrote Kaepernick. “He was the 1ST person 2 kneel alongside me. Eric is a social justice warrior, continues to support his family. and communities in need.” Said Kappernick.

Reid began to kneel alongside Kappernick back in 2016, after consulting with former NFL player and military veteran Nate Boyer about how they could protest respectfully. The pair then knelt for the anthem for the entire season. Reid continued this and kneeled in his first appearance for the Panthers this past Sunday.

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Image shows Eric Reid (centre), rights - Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:San_Francisco_49ers_National_Anthem_Kneeling_(37721041581).jpg 

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