• Eric Reid nailed tight end Ben Watson with a late hit during Thursday’s preseason game between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers. The timing of the play has greater significance given the context of their opposing viewpoints.

    a man wearing a blue hat? Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

    First, here’s a look at the hit from Reid, which happened after the Patriots tight end was already down following a catch late in the first quarter.

    Reid was flagged for a late hit on the play.

    What’s notable is that Reid and Watson have been involved in a dispute.

    Reid has stood with his ex-49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick since the quarterback began kneeling in the 2016 season. The two were even part of a collusion lawsuit against the NFL that they later settled. Reid has been critical of anyone working with the NFL in the name of improving social justice matters. He called out the Players Coalition, which is a group of current and former players working with the league to improve communities and social issues. Watson issued a response on Twitter in which he disagreed with Reid and said “we need each other”.

    Whether or not their opposing political viewpoints had a role in Reid’s late hit on Watson is up for you to decide.

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