Colin Kaepernick shared his appreciation for his supporters and his “brother,” Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, on Twitter on Thursday. His message came amid the recent announcement that Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has entered a long-term partnership with the NFL.
“You never turned your back on me or the people, even when the nfl tried to silence your voice & the movement,” Kaepernick wrote about Reid in a post accompanied by a video of them training together. “You’ve never flinched or wavered. I love you Brother! Let’s get it!”
He later added, “And to the people - I see you, I hear you and I love you! Thank you for having my back!!!”
Reid was the first player in 2016 to kneel beside his former teammate Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem at NFL games to protest racial injustice. Reid continues his peaceful protests as a Carolina Panther.
Kaepernick tweeted an emotional video that honored the Black lives lost to police violence on Wednesday, which marked three years since he began his protests.
“I continue to work and stand with the people in our fight for liberation, despite those who are trying to erase the movement!” Kaepernick wrote. “The movement has always lived with the people.”
The activist’s tweet, which did not mention Jay-Z or Roc Nation by name, was published shortly after the music mogul held a press conference about his new partnership alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday.
Roc Nation’s NFL deal has drawn criticism on Twitter since it was announced this week.
Jay-Z, who had been a vocal supporter of Kaepernick and his protests, asserted at Wednesday’s conference that “we’ve moved past kneeling” and that Roc Nation aims to focus on “what are we moving [on to] next?”
A press release on Wednesday stated that as part of Roc Nation’s partnership with the NFL, which includes distributing “content across multiple music streaming services,” the entertainment company will focus on the league’s social justice initiative “Inspire Change.”
Reid has been a vocal critic of the partnership. On Tuesday, he called the deal disingenuous and a means of covering up the fact that Kaepernick, who used his platform in the NFL to shed light on racial injustice, remains unsigned by a team.
On Thursday, Reid charged that Jay-Z “doesn’t need the NFL’s help” to address social injustice. He continued, “It was a money move 4 him & his music business. The NFL gets 2 hide behind his black face 2 try to cover up blackballing Colin.”