(Reuters) - Carolina’s Eric Reid had to be restrained by team mates after confronting Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles prior to their NFL game on Sunday and later accused him of selling out the players’ movement protesting social injustice.
Reid’s former team mate at the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick was the first player to refuse to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games, a protest he said was aimed at bringing attention to racism and police brutality.
Reid was one of the first to join Kaepernick in protesting, with Jenkins among the many other players throughout the NFL then taking up the cause.
Jenkins last year co-founded the Players Coalition, a non-profit organization governed by 12 NFL players.
After the NFL agreed to donate nearly $90 million to causes the coalition considered important, Jenkins stopped raising a fist of protest during the national anthem.
“I believe there’s a lot of players who have stepped up for Colin,” said Reid, who quit the coalition.
“I believe Malcolm capitalized on the situation — he co-opted the movement that was started by Colin to get his organization funded. It’s cowardly. He sold us out.”
Jenkins did not return fire and had nothing but praise for the social justice efforts of Reid and Kaepernick.
“You couldn’t pay me to say anything negative about them,” Jenkins said.
“I look around the league and I’m proud of guys that are active in their communities, that are using their voice as a platform like never before, including Colin and including Eric.”
Kaepernick, who remains without a team after leaving the 49ers, weighed in on Reid’s comments.
“Eric Reid!!! Enough said!!!” he wrote on Twitter.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford