Carolina Panthers defensive back Eric Reid accused Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and the Players Coalition of stealing away the social inequality protest movement among NFL players that was first started by Colin Kaepernick.
“He’s a sellout,” Reid told reporters after the Panthers‘ 21-17 victory. “He was corrupt from the jump. He knew what he was doing from the offset. His goal was to sell us out, and he did that.”
Reid’s comments come after he got into an altercation with Jenkins before the pregame coin toss at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. Reid went on to the field while Jenkins was taking part in the coin toss and got into a verbal altercation with Jenkins before being pushed back toward the sideline by a Panthers assistant.
Reid, who is not a team captain, told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that he didn’t inform Panthers coach Ron Rivera of his intentions to go on the field during the coin toss. He also said he didn’t regret his actions.
“I don’t focus on Malcolm every day,” Reid said. “My focus is on the fight, the fight of my people. We just crossed paths today.
“We believe a lot of players should have stepped up for Colin. I believe Malcolm capitalized on the situation. He co-opted the movement that was started by Colin to get his organization funded. Its cowardly. He sold us out.”
Jenkins, for his part, says he holds no animosity toward Reid or Kaepernick.
Jenkins declined comment on Reidâs claims that he co-opted the movement and that heâs a neocolonialist.
â Master (@MasterTes)
October 21, 2018
“Look, we are bound to disagree strongly at times, but we also try to handle our family business and grievances personally rather than publicly,” NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Sunday night. “That said, it is undeniable that both of these men and those working along side of them have been leaders on social justice issues and that the change they have brought about has undoubtedly made an impact for good.”
The animosity between Jenkins and Reid stems from Reid’s decision to leave the Players Coalition shortly before it entered into a partnership with the NFL that has dedicated close to $90 million for efforts and programs combating social inequality. Reid publicly stated last year some of the reasons why he chose not to be part of the Players Coalition.
The initiative came in response to player demonstrations during the national anthem before games over the last three seasons — demonstrations that originally started in 2016 when Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem during a San Francisco 49ers preseason game. Reid later joined Kaepernick in taking a knee during the anthem.
Reid has continued his on-field protests against social injustice and racial inequality since signing with the Panthers last month. The NFL’s national anthem policy, which was approved by team owners in May, is currently on hold amid ongoing discussions between the league and the NFL Players Association.