Former 49ers safety Eric Reid had some sharp words for 49ers owner Jed York on Saturday night.
Reid, who knelt alongside Colin Kaepernick for the national anthem during the 2016 season, took to Twitter after York pledged to donate $1 million in the fight against racial discrimination.
“Nobody wants your money Jed,” Reid tweeted. “We want justice. We’ve always wanted justice. Y’all are truly (deluded).”
Torrey Smith, a wide receiver who played alongside Reid with the 49ers in 2015-16, leaped to York’s defense. He referenced “countless conversations” with York about these issues and expressed gratitude for the owner’s “commitment to the Bay and injustices everywhere.”
“I was there and watched the way he handled Kap’s protest,” Smith wrote to Reid. “He was willing to support in any way possible and was trying to figure out and understand how to help. I never heard him say “don’t kneel” one time. He focused on helping. He has my respect for ever.”
While York consistently offered public support for Kaepernick’s right to peacefully protest as he knelt for the national anthem, Reid’s response to Smith said that wasn’t the case in private.
“You speak based on your experience and I understand that. However, I can tell you that you never heard him say “don’t kneel” because you never knelt. He begged me not to kneel,” Reid tweeted.
The exchange ended with Smith saying Reid’s stance was “fair.”
Kaepernick was released after the 2016 season but never got another job in the NFL. Reid played for the 49ers through the completion of his rookie contract in 2017 but was not re-signed. He signed an in-season deal with Carolina in 2018, where he played the last two seasons.
Reid is currently a free agent.
York made his $1 million pledge Saturday night on Twitter.
“People throughout our country are hurting. Emotions are raw and rightfully so. Heinous acts have been committed in recent weeks. Before we are able to realize impactful change, we must first have the courage and compassion as human beings to come together and acknowledge the problem: Black men, women and children and other oppressed minorities continue to be systematically discriminated against. The 49ers organization is committing to support the legislative priorities of the Players Coalition and to donating $1 million dollars to local and national organizations who are creating change.”
In his reponse, Reid wrote: “I see that a lot of y’all think that it takes money to get justice. It does not. It takes money to facilitate justice. Justice is easy, the system choose not to give it.
“One day y’all will realize that truth and justice are the answer.”
©2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)