Reid also suggested Jay-Z’s new partnership with the NFL to help with entertainment and social justice was a “money move” that undercuts former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been without an NFL job since the 2016 season, when he and Reid began kneeling to protest police brutality and social injustice.
Reid, who made his remarks while wearing a black No. 7 Kaepernick jersey with “#IMWITHKAP” on the front, kneeled during the anthem before Friday night’s preseason game against Buffalo, just as he has every game since arriving at Carolina last season.
“For one, when has Jay-Z ever taken a knee to come out and tell us that we’re past kneeling?” Reid said. “Yes, he’s done a lot of great work, a lot of great social justice work.
“But for you to get paid to go into an NFL press conference and say that we’re past kneeling? Again, asinine. Players Coalition 2.0, he got paid to take the bullets he’s taking now because we’re not having it.”
Reid has been hammering Jay-Z on Twitter since the partnership with the league was announced earlier in the week.
Responding to one tweet, Reid wrote: “You & some others seem to misunderstand that we had no beef with the NFL until they started perpetuating the systemic oppression that we are fighting by blackballing Colin and then me. Nah I won’t quit playing but I will be a royal pain in the NFL’s a** for acting like they care about people of color by forming numerous disingenuous partnerships to address social injustice while collectively blackballing Colin, the person who brought oppression and social injustice to the forefront of the NFL platform.”
Reid said the NFL is hiding behind Jay-Z’s “black face” with the new deal.
“The [injustice] that’s happened to Colin, they get to say, ‘Look, we care about social justice, we care about the black community because we’re with Jay-Z,'” Reid said. “Jay-Z is doing the work for them. We all know that it’s unjust that Colin isn’t in an NFL locker room, the way he lost his job. But they get to pretend they care about social justice.”
The National Football League Players Association filed a grievance against the league in May 2017 on behalf of Reid and Kaepernick, alleging collusion among league owners to deny them jobs for the 2018 season.
The Panthers signed Reid to a one-year deal in late September with the approval of new owner David Tepper, a move most in the organization thought never would have happened under former owner Jerry Richardson. Reid, 27, got a three-year, $22 million deal this past offseason.
Reid has continued to kneel during the anthem and has remained outspoken on social injustice. He also waged a battle with the Players Coalition after it received about $89 million from the league for efforts and programs to combat social inequity.
“I could be completely wrong, but since the $89 million announcement with the Players Coalition, what’s come of that?” Reid said Friday. “We get to pretend we care about social justice. We get to pretend we care about the black community, and we get to hide behind Malcolm Jenkins’ face, and we get to hide behind Jay-Z’s face and not do anything.”
Asked if it would be better if Kaepernick had a seat at the table in all of this, Reid said, “It would be better if Colin had a job.”
Reid said he has lobbied for Tepper to hire Kaepernick.
“It’s the same thing everybody says: ‘We have a quarterback, we have a backup,'” Reid said.
“Colin can help every NFL team, first and foremost,” Reid said. “We did not play our best football tonight. So I’m not going to throw our guys under the bus and say they should lose their jobs. We all played terrible today. But Colin can help out every NFL team.”
Reid said the window for Kaepernick, 31, to get an NFL job is shrinking, and that the move by the NFL to partner with Jay-Z fits the pattern he has watched happen over the past year.
“Jay-Z made a money move,” Reid said. “He’s capitalized on this situation. Nobody to my knowledge talked about social justice before Colin started protesting. That was not a topic of the NFL off the field. For Jay-Z to come in and partner to address social justice, do it behind Colin’s back, get paid to do it … I don’t have words.”