Panthers coach Ron Rivera has reiterated that he has no problem with Eric Reid’s actions.
Even if he did, the Panthers safety would continue to exercise his rights in protesting police brutality and social injustice.
“Very respectfully, he doesn’t have a choice,” Reid said Wednesday of Rivera’s endorsement, via ESPN. “He’s entitled to his opinion, but I know what my rights are. His family was a military family much like many of my people were in the military. My cousin just got back from Afghanistan. My mom was in the armed services. My uncle was enlisted. The list goes on.
“But when they get home they’re still black in America. They’re going to fight the same wars when they get home and still face the same things I’m talking about. So I get encouragement from my family that served in the armed forces because they agree with what I’m saying.”
Reid, who plans on kneeling again Sunday when the Panthers honor the military during their NFC South showdown with the Buccaneers as part of “Salute to Service Week,” feels comfortable with his decision due to the support he receives while interacting with fans off the field. Even from those with military backgrounds, like Rivera.
“Everybody is entitled to their opinion, I’m expressing mine,” Reid said. “In the stands, I’ve always heard the people yelling. When I’m in the community, when I get approached, I can honestly say I’ve not had anybody say stop kneeling in public. It’s all been supportive.”
The Panthers (5-2) are slated to host the Bucs (3-4) at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.