CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46/AP) - As the national anthem played, every player on the Carolina Panthers sideline could be seen standing, except one.
Eric Reid dropped to a knee just before the anthem started ahead of Sunday's game between the New York Giants. He is the first Panthers player ever to kneel during the national anthem.
Reid, who is African-American, signed a one-year contract with the Panthers and said that he plans to "continue to speak for my people" and use his platform to talk about injustices.
On Monday it was unclear whether or not Reid would take a knee in his first game. By Sunday, it was clear his mind was made up.
The Panthers safety, who knelt alongside Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco during the national anthem to bring attention to racial and social injustice, filed a collusion grievance against the NFL alleging that teams wouldn't sign him because of his protesting.
Regardless of Reid's beliefs, the Panthers (2-1) were excited to have the 2013 Pro Bowler, after Da'Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve last week with a concussion.
Reid's new teammates, including wide receiver Torrey Smith, a member of the Players Coalition, said this past week that potential protests would not be a distraction for the Panthers.
Smith said "no one cares" if he kneels during the national anthem.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.