San Francisco 49er Eric Reid is hopeful that the anthem protests in the NFL can have a positive impact. Reid joined then-49er Colin Kaepernick last year when he sat during the national anthem
“I hoped that when we started we could make some changes. I hoped that we could make our country better through doing the protest,” said Reid.
Reid, however, wasn't prepared for Donald Trump's comments on the protest during and after an appearance in Alabama in support of then-senatorial candidate Luther Strange.
Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
“I didn’t think that we would get this kind of remark from the president. But at the time that we started there was a lot of hurt, there was a lot of emotion with things happening in this country, especially with police brutality and the number of people that we were seeing killed - unarmed black people,” said Reid.
However, despite harsh criticisms of the protests, Reid feels as though they can make a real difference, which is something upon which the football player feels he and the commander in chief can agree.
"We can work together and we can make our country better. That’s (what) the president ran his campaign on. That’s all we’re trying to do.”
The 49ers are expected to show unity during the anthem before their game with the Cardinals this week.
“Change only comes through conversation. This is a peaceful protest. We want to talk about these issues. We want to see if there are ways that we can make our country better,” said Reid.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)