NFL free agent Eric Reid says he won’t protest during national anthem

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (C), outside linebacker Eli Harold (L), and free safety Eric Reid (R) take a knee during the US national anthem before the NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers on October 2, 2016 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. File photo by John Mabanglo/European Press Agency

By The Sports XchangeUPI

If free-agent safety Eric Reid lands another job in the NFL, he plans to give up kneeling during the national anthem next season.

Reid joined former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his protests against police brutality and racial injustice during the 2016 season and continued to knee during the playing of the anthem last year.

“I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country to improve on,” Reid said while watching his brother, Justin, at Stanford’s pro day on Thursday.

“I don’t think it’ll be in the form of protesting during the anthem. And I said ‘during’ because it’s crazy to me that the narrative got changed to we were protesting the anthem, because that wasn’t the case. But I think we’re going to take a different approach to how to be active.”

Reid said he does not have any team visits or offers lined up at this point, but his agent has talked with several teams.

49ers general manager John Lynch, who also was at Stanford’s pro day, would not rule out the team re-signing Reid.

“Eric played and played well for us last year,” Lynch told reporters. “I think he’s stuck in a safety market that’s been quiet. And I would anticipate things starting to shake for him and we’ll see.

“I’d never say never. I really do think opportunities will start to come his way. We’ve been monitoring it closely and we’ll see how that shakes out.”

The 26-year-old Reid understands that NFL teams might be shying away from him because of his actions, “but that’s okay with me” because he felt he was doing the right things.

“I stand by what I’ve done,” Reid said. “I know why I’ve done it. My faith in God is the reason. I can go to sleep at night confident I did what I was called to do. I’m just going to stay positive and keep trying to stay in shape and wait and see what happens. I said at the end of last season I’m okay no matter what happens.”

The six-year NFL veteran played in 13 games for the 49ers last year and had 67 tackles and two interceptions. His best season came as a rookie in 2013 when he finished with 77 tackles and four interceptions in 16 games.