- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Redskins coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday he has no issue with Adrian Peterson taking a knee during the national anthem next season, citing his experience with Eric Reid while with the Panthers.

When Reid protested during the anthem with Carolina, Rivera said the safety was exercising his First Amendment rights. A proud son of a military officer, Rivera said conversations with Reid helped him realize that taking a knee wasn’t about disrespecting the military.

“When Eric and I talked, it was an eye-opener for me personally,” Rivera said. “And he also helped me truly understand what the protest was about in terms of taking the knee. That had nothing to do with our military. It had nothing to do with our first responders. It had nothing to do with the flag.

“It had everything to do with social injustice and brutality, police brutality, and working to get that corrected. I was fine with it.”

Rivera said he also read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to help guide his beliefs — adding he did so again when Peterson said last week that he would “without a doubt” kneel moving forward.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Rivera emphasized his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and detailed the ways the Redskins have reacted to George Floyd’s death. The team has assembled a town hall program that has allowed for its players, coaches and employees be heard and brainstorm ideas to make a difference.

“I support (Peterson’s protest) because it’s in our Constitution and that’s our military personnel fought for,” Rivera said.

While participating in a food giveaway in Texas last week, Peterson said that “Without a doubt” he will kneel during the national anthem before games in 2020. He cited Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis as the motivating factor.

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