Just before the first batch of NFL games on Sunday, newly signed Panthers safety Eric Reid took a knee in continuation of the protests he took a co-starring role in back when he was a teammate of Colin Kaepernick's in San Francisco in 2016:
While kneeling before an NFL game is an incredibly minor gesture, it has become a focal point in the never-ending and completely insufferable artificial culture wars that we're all set to be subjected to until the end of time.
With that established, cue up Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, who was predictably asked about Reid's kneel-down in the first of (probably) many questions he'll field about that same subject for the rest of the season. In response to a query on Reid's gesture, Rivera spoke like a guy who was prepared for this by stating he won't speak about a guy exercising his first amendment rights:
As you can see, Rivera also pivoted to talking about what happened on the field, which of course means a Panthers win that came from a 63-yard gut punch field goal as time expired:
Only time will tell how seriously national commentators and local beat writers will take Rivera's declaration, but the fact that Reid is currently involved with a collusion case against the league that alleges owners tried to prevent his employment due to his protests means it'll come up again. On top of that, Reid said that his Carolina signing wouldn't change his mind about his grievance:
It's certainly worth noting that new Panthers owner David Tepper wasn't included in Reid's paperwork against the NFL since he wasn't an owner at the time. Tepper also defended protesting players as "some of the most patriotic people [and] best people."
Anyway, nice win.