It started with Colin Kaepernick but now former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid has joined and recently filed a collusion grievance against the National Football League. Dan Graziano of ESPN is reporting that Reid hired Mark Geragos, the same attorney repping Kaepernick claiming that the NFL is boycotting and blacklisting him from finding future employment thanks to his willingness to take a knee during national anthem.
The response from the NFLPA was in support of Reid, saying, “Our union is aware that Eric Reid and his legal representatives filed a collusion claim, which will be heard through the arbitration process as spelled out in our collective bargaining agreement,” the NFLPA said in a statement to Jill Martin of CNN. “Our union supports Eric and we are considering other legal options to pursue.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 2, 2018
Reid, now 26 years old, became a free agent after finishing his rookie contract with the San Francisco 49’ers last season. Almost seven weeks after the market opened, he’s still yet to be offered a job and that’s with some pretty good numbers showing he’d be a good fit on a few NFL rosters. He and the NFLPA believe that there’s too strong a coincidence between his taking knee and his lack of contract offers to not be some sort of conspiracy. Kaepernick has yet to find employment either.
Still, with no contract and this legal matter looming, Reid doesn’t regret his decision to kneel with Kaepernick for what reasons he viewed as important. “I stand by what I’ve done,” he said. “I know why I’ve done it. My faith in God is the reason. I can go to sleep at night confident I did what I was called to do. I’m just going to stay positive and keep trying to stay in shape and wait and see what happens. I said at the end of last season I’m OK no matter what happens.”
It is an interesting case to watch. Are the NFL owners trying to send a message? They didn’t like the players apparently showing them up. Or, is this just two guys who aren’t quite NFL material using issues like police brutality, racial inequality, and social injustice to get paid?