SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers won’t be forcing their players to stand during the national anthem, safety Eric Reid said Wednesday.
Reid, the first player to join Colin Kaepernick in protest last season, said he had a conversation recently with 49ers CEO Jed York, who indicated he will continue to support his players if they decide to kneel during the national anthem to protest social injustice.
Reid said: “He’s expressed very clearly that he wants to support us, that he’s not going to force us to do anything.”
More than 20 49ers kneeled during the anthem during the last two games, while teammates stood behind them with hands on their shoulders. That was in reaction to President Trump’s condemnation at a rally last month of any player that didn’t stand. Trump called for owners to release players who did not stand.