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Panthers use cleats to send a message

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Carolina safety Eric Reid took advantage of the NFL’s “my cause, my cleats” campaign. Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Carolina safety Eric Reid took advantage of the NFL’s “my cause, my cleats” campaign during the Panthers’ Monday night matchup against the New Orleans Saints to promote continued awareness of social injustice.

Reid collaborated with activist and artist Brandan “B-mike” Odums to create the cleats, which Reid said were a “tribute to the history of protest” while promoting former teammate Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp.”

The design features images of protesters holding signs that read, “I know my rights,” “If not us, who?” and “If not now, when?” The cleats also spell out the 10 points of Kaepernick’s camp platform:

“You have the right to be free. You have the right to be healthy. You have the right to be brilliant. You have the right to be safe. You have the right to be loved. You have the right to be courageous. You have the right to be alive. You have the right to be trusted. You have the right to be educated. You have the right to know your rights.”

The 27-year-old Pro Bowler posted pictures of the cleats on Twitter, thanking the artist and praising Kaepernick, writing: “We all benefit and stand on … the shoulders of those giants who decided their moment was best used for the sake of the people. And it’s always the right time to do what’s right. No different from you using your moment to take a knee.”

Reid, Kaepernick’s former San Francisco 49ers teammate, was the first player to join Kaepernick in 2016 in kneeling during the national anthem as a protest to social injustice and police brutality.

Earlier this year, both players filed a collusion grievance against the NFL claiming the league and team owners colluded to keep them from playing. Reid had trouble finding work before Carolina signed him in September when starting free safety Da’Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve. Kaepernick remains unemployed.

Reid has not withdrawn his grievance.

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