Former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (7) kneels alongside teammate Eric Reid during the national anthem before playing the Los Angeles Rams at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. File photo by Bruce Gordon/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Colin Kaepernick spoke out to congratulate former teammate Eric Reid on Thursday after the safety signed a contract with the Carolina Panthers.
Reid joined the Panthers on a one year contract. The Pro Bowl defender had 66 tackles, four passes defensed, two interceptions and a fumble recovery in 13 games last season for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick and Reid were 49ers teammates from 2013 through 2016.
Reid also was the first player to kneel alongside Kaepernick in 2016 when he protested police brutality and racial inequality while the national anthem played before games.
"Congrats to my brother Eric Reid, All-Pro safety, who should have been signed the first day of free agency, who has signed a football contract," Kaepernick posted on social media, along with a photo of himself laughing on an airplane with Reid.
"He was the first person to kneel alongside me. Eric is a social justice warrior, continues to support his family. and communities in need."
Reid and Kaepernick are involved in a collusion lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that teams colluded to keep the quarterback off of their rosters. Kaepernick's attorney Mark Geragos told TMZ on Sept. 20 that there would be some news this week regarding teams interested in signing Kaepernick.
Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith also commented on the signing. Smith was also a teammate of Reid and Kaepernick in San Francisco.
"I'm excited," Smith told Panthers.com. "It shouldn't have taken this long, a person with his talent. We all understand the reason why. This says a lot about the men & the leaders here. They're making a football decision, but Eric is also a great man & leader."