NFL Star: Kneeling Is Not ‘Disrespectful,’ Just a Solemn Gesture

San Francisco 49ers free safety Eric Reid penned an op-ed for The New York Times on Monday explaining his decision to kneel during the national anthem. Reid explained that he decided to join his ex-teammate Colin Kaepernick’s protest last preseason after the police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. “We came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest,” Reid recalled. “We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.” In light of President Trump suggesting NFL owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who protests the national anthem, Reid added: “It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.”