Panthers’ Reid kneels during national anthem

Carolina Panthers defensive back Eric Reid (25) kneels during the national anthem prior to the game against the New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday.Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers safety Eric Reid took a knee during the playing of the national anthem prior to Sunday’s game against NY Giants

Reid, who signed a one-year contract with the Panthers last week, claimed at the beginning of the offseason that he wasn’t receiving interest from teams due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem. He was the first player to kneel alongside former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a means to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

No Panthers player joined Reid in the demonstration on Sunday. In fact, no Panthers player had ever kneeled, although defensive end Julius Peppers stayed in the locker room the week after comments by President Donald Trump last year.

Reid said last week that he hadn’t made up his mind on if he would kneel prior to the game.

“I said that I would be considering other ways, and I’m still considering,” Reid said. “I’m still evaluating the scope of our country.”

Reid was signed by the Panthers in a bid to bolster their secondary. Veteran Da’Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve with his second concussion in a month.

The 26-year-old Reid has been a starter in each of his five NFL seasons.

Reid started 12 of the 13 games he played for the 49ers in 2017, when he had two interceptions, four passes defensed, one fumble recovery and 66 tackles. He has 10 interceptions, 34 passes defended, one sack and 375 tackles since being selected by San Francisco with the 18th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Reid earned Pro Bowl and All-Rookie honors in his first season after starting all 16 games for the 49ers and recording 92 tackles, four interceptions, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. He started all three playoff games for the 49ers that season, helping the team to an NFC Championship game appearance.