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Eric Reid says he won't take a knee during national anthem

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, one of the first players to join then-teammate Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games last season, said he will no longer do so.

Reid said the goal of kneeling was to create awareness and spur action toward issues such as racism and aggressive policing. That goal has been reached, Reid said, adding it's now "time to keep doing things to affect change."

Kaepernick's decision to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the 49ers' third preseason game of 2016 put him in the national spotlight. Reid joined him on the sideline during San Francisco's 2016 preseason season finale and continued to take a knee alongside Kaepernick throughout the rest of the season.

Kaepernick said he had "many conversations" with Reid about his protest and that his teammate ultimately joined him to show his support. Reid said after the preseason finale he wanted to let Kaepernick "know that he's not the only person who feels the way he feels."

Reid and Kaepernick were among players across the NFL who took a knee during the national anthem prior to games in 2016.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

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