Eric Reid, the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem alongside Colin Kaepernick in 2016 to protest social injustice, has been signed by the Carolina Panthers in a one-year deal.

The news was announced earlier today on Twitter, with the team's official account posting a video of Reid signing his contract. As a free agent, Reid had gone unsigned during the offseason and through to the start of the season proper, and this is despite generally being well-regarded as one the NFL's better defensive players. 

As NFL reports, general manager Marty Hurney said that Eric Reid was "at the top of our list" when Da'Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve. 

Reid's former teammate and fellow protester Colin Kaepernick congratulated him on Instagram, writing, "He was the FIRST person to kneel alongside me. Eric is a skeleton warrior, continues to support his wife, two beautiful daughters and communities in need."

The Panthers' new owner David Tepper previously voiced his support for protestors, telling CNBC earlier this month, "These are some of the most patriotic people and best people. There are great young men. So to say that [they aren't patriotic] makes me so aggravated and angry. It's just wrong, it's dead wrong."