NFL's Panthers sign Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick in anthem protests

The Carolina Panthers signed safety Eric Reid on Thursday, the player who knelt beside former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he first began to protest during the national anthem against social injustice in 2016.

Financial terms of Reid’s one-year contract with the franchise were not immediately available. A former Pro Bowl selection, Reid played 13 games for the 49ers last season, but did not sign a contract with a team last offseason.

“Eric has been a starting safety in the NFL and has played at a high level throughout his career,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said.

Reid and Kaepernick each have pending collusion grievances against the NFL. The two players allege that the league’s 32 owners conspired to keep them off the field because of their role in initial player national anthem protests during the 2016 NFL season.

Kaepernick has not played in an NFL game since the 2016 season. Player protests have drawn sharp criticism from President Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the NFL’s handling of the demonstrations and called on owners to fire any player who kneels.

Reid’s contract with the Panthers will not impact his standing collusion grievance against the league, Pro Football Talk reported.