49ers’ Eric Reid kneels for national anthem after vowing to stand

Despite saying he would stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner” before 49ers games, safety Eric Reid is changing his stance and is resuming a national anthem protest. 

Reid was seen kneeling during the national anthem before the 49ers’ third preseason game Sunday night against the Vikings. He was surrounded by teammates Marquise Goodwin, Eli Harold and Lorenzo Jerome, each of whom placed a hand on Reid’s shoulder, according to ESPN.com.

Reid made headlines last season when he knelt with then-teammate Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem in protest of perceived racial oppression in this country, but he said in April he would stand this season since the protest’s goal of creating a national dialogue had been accomplished.

Reid stuck by his decision to stand during the national anthem this season in the wake of the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va. earlier in August. But after talking with Kaepernick, Reid decided to reverse his course in hopes of seeing “change.”

“Accountability for officers that step outside the line. We want our president to be a president and not threaten to shut down the government over a wall,” Reid told reporters after the 32-31 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. “To change the oppression that happens in this country. It has no place in the world, let alone America.

“Our goal is to just keep talking about it. Hopefully we inspire people to do something about it through our protests. And this isn’t something that’s new. I’ve learned a lot of things throughout the past year about athletes that have talked about the same things that we’re talking about. So the goal is just to create some change.” 

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San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan continues to support Reid’s protest.

“He didn’t tell me,” Shanahan said. “He told our [public relations] staff so I was aware of it. I knew it was going to happen but him and I never talked personally. I’ve got no issue. Everyone’s allowed to do what they want to do. I heard about it before the game but it wasn’t even worth talking about. I had to get ready for the game.”

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