Chiefs’ Justin Reid says he was asked about kneeling for the national anthem during his preliminary interviews in 2018

Justin Reid helped the Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl title since the 2019 season in February, when the team beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35.

Reid joined the Chiefs before the start of the 2022 season after spending four years with the Houston Texans. The defensive back was a third-round draft pick in 2018 before he went strong and made an immediate impact on that defense. He had three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, in his rookie season.

However, Reid explained on Friday’s episode of «The Pivot Podcast» that he thought he would, at the very least, be a second-round pick. He reminded Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor that the teams that interviewed him had doubts about whether he would kneel for the national anthem.


Justin Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Reid’s brother, Eric, took a knee during the anthem in support of Colin Kaepernick in 2016. Kaepernick and Reid sued the NFL and eventually settled with the league over claims that teams turned them away because of their support for social justice issues. Eric Reid would eventually play two seasons for the Carolina Panthers, but hasn’t since 2019.

«I visited 28 teams before the draft. Houston actually wasn’t one of the teams I talked to because they didn’t think they had a chance to get me. Their first pick was in the third round. I thought it was going (in the round). 1 or 2,» Justin Reid said.

«Some of the visits where I ended up having some conversations about social justice issues. This is recent when Kaepernick and my brother took a knee. It was still a very hot, taboo topic going around the league.»


Eric Reid takes a knee with Colin Kaepernick

Eric Reid, left, and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers take a knee during the anthem before the Los Angeles Rams game at Levi Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

«I remember some teams asking me directly: ‘Are you going to kneel?’ You know, ‘Is this going to be a distraction?’ At that point, I said, ‘No, Coach, I’m not going to kneel. I’m not going to kneel, Coach. I’ll do whatever you need me to do,'» he added with a laugh.

Justin Reid said the experience he saw his brother go through «hurt». He said it was hard to see him not being picked up after setting franchise records in Carolina. In Eric Reid’s final season, he had 130 tackles and seven tackles for loss.

The current Chiefs said he didn’t necessarily distance himself from his brother’s views.

«There’s a fine line because I would never stop being on his side,» Reid said. «That is my blood. That is my brother. He is my idol. He was my role model growing up. I compared everything I did with what he did at that age to measure myself. I will always support him. But it is a very fine line you have than to play with just choosing your moments to express yourself and make it strong because… like, I choose my moments intentionally, but I don’t try to do it in a way that, you know, I’ve seen this movie before.

Justin Reid vs. the Raiders

Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid walks off the field after warmups before a Raiders game at Allegiant Stadium on January 7, 2023 in Las Vegas. (Chris Unger/Getty Images)

«I know the potential where this could go. I choose my moments when I talk about it and sometimes I just have to stay put because at the end of the day I really believe that I can have a bigger impact every time I do it. «. build my platform, my brand, bigger than it is when I’m in a vulnerable state that can get out from under me so quickly.»


Reid played in all 17 games for Kansas City in 2022. He had 83 tackles and one sack.