CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid could have thrown his team's management under the bus for not attending quarterback Colin Kaepernick's workout on Saturday after his quarterback threw four interceptions in Sunday's 29-3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
But Reid said Kaepernick, his former San Francisco 49ers teammate, proved in the workout what he's been hoping to prove the past three years since being "blackballed'' by the league for kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against social injustice.
"The goal was accomplished," said Reid, wearing a black No. 7 Kaepernick jersey. "He proved he can play this game. He proved he can throw the ball. Elite. That's what an NFL executive said."
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that an NFL executive at the workout, which was moved at the last minute from the Falcons' practice facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia, to a high school, said Kaepernick had "elite'' arm strength and threw well.
"He's been working out every day for three years," said Reid, the first player to join Kaepernick during the 2016 season in kneeling during the anthem. "Can you imagine the mental fortitude it takes to stay in shape for three years while somebody is blackballing you for you wanting to stand up for people who have been wronged?"
Reid said that is what people should be talking about, not that Kaepernick moved the workout to a different location because he wouldn't sign a waiver that reportedly could release him from any claims of collusion/retaliation that the quarterback might make as a result of his unemployment since settling his first collusion case in February.
Reid wasn't happy that ESPN's Stephen A. Smith posted a video saying Kaepernick's decision to move the workout was an indication that the 2011 second-round pick didn't really want to return to the NFL.
"That's nonsense," Reid said. "The proof of the workout was to show he can play the game, was to show he can throw the ball, and he did that. The NFL wanted to control the narrative by not letting independent NFL media into the workout to document the workout.
"They wouldn't even tell him who was going to run his routes for him. They wouldn't even give him a script for the workout. Is Colin supposed to trust an organization that has blackballed him? He's not that naive."
Reid attended Kaepernick's workout on his own without asking permission from the Panthers. He wanted to be there for the player he has stood and kneeled by since 2016.
"I went there on my free time and I came back in time for our meetings last night," Reid said. "Of course I'm going to be there for my brother. Y'all have seen that.
"The way he fights for people, the way he fights for justice, I want to make sure I'm there supporting him."
Reid maintained the workout was a PR stunt by the NFL, a description he also used Wednesday after Kaepernick was given only a few hours on Tuesday to decide whether he would attend. He said the waiver further convinced him he was right.
"We knew this was a PR stunt from the beginning," Reid said. "When we got that waiver we were like, 'Ah, we see that. It's the employment rights. You want him to forfeit his employment rights.'
"They've never had Colin's best interests at heart. If that was the case, why are they making such a big deal about moving the workout?"
That the Panthers didn't attend the workout didn't surprise Reid because team owner David Tepper told him last week Carolina wasn't looking for a veteran quarterback to compete with Kyle Allen.
After Allen's four interceptions against Atlanta, Reid refused to blame the second-year, undrafted quarterback, calling it a team loss. He noted the line didn't give Allen much time to work and the defense made its share of mistakes. With that said, Reid added, "I think we could use Colin's help. I think every team in the league could use Colin's help. I would definitely be excited if he was here."