Eric Reid, the first player to kneel beside Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem, wrote in a series of tweets Thursday night that he believes his activism has hurt his value on the free-agent market.
"GMs aren’t the hold up broski. It’s ownership," the former San Francisco 49ers safety wrote in response to one tweet. "People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character."
A former first-round draft pick out of LSU, Reid had 67 tackles and two interceptions for the 49ers last season, spending part of the season at linebacker out of necessity after the departure of NaVorro Bowman. His four-year, $8.4-million contract expired at the end of last season.
"The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous," Reid wrote in another tweet. "If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too."
After first kneeling next to Kaepernick during the national anthem as a means of protesting racial injustice and police brutality in the United States, Reid became an active member of the NFL players' coalition before breaking with the group in November. He acknowledged late last year that his activism could be held against him in free agency.
"I would say I understand that’s a possibility. And I’m completely fine with it," Reid told ESPN. "The things that I’ve done, I stand by, and I’ve done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, I’m fine with whatever outcome happens because of that."