Fan Perspective

Eric Reid Files Collusion Grievance Against NFL

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The National Football League will regret not being on the right side of history.

On Wednesday, former San Fransisco 49ers safety Eric Reid filed a collusion grievance against his former team and the NFL alleging that the owners have conspired to shut him out due to his social and political activism. Reid is working with attorney Mark Garagos who also represents is former teammate, Colin Kaepernick, who has also filed his own collusion grievance against the NFL.

Reid became a free agent in March when is rookie contract expired and still remains unsigned. It was reported that last month, Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown asked Reid during a recent meeting whether he planned to continue kneeling during the anthem. Reid said that he planned to stop protesting but didn’t get an offer from the Bengals.

Reid was the first to join Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality and social injustice two years ago. He was also one of the original members of the players coalition that met with owners in 2017 to discuss the motivation behind the protests and how they could help the NFL with in social justice causes. Reid and other players ended up splitting from the coalition because they believed Kaepernick needed to be more involved in the discussions and efforts.

Eli Harold #58, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline during the anthem prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

If you recall, the New York Times obtained audio from the a meeting that included NFL owners, players and league executives that meet at the league’s headquarters in October to discuss Trump and the protests over the national anthem. It bears repeating that the players are not protesting the national anthem. In 2017, Reid explained in a op-ed written for the New York Times why him and Kaepernick decided to take a knee.  It’s quite interesting that after two years, the NFL owners and the commissioner for that matter, still don’t understand why Reid and Kaepernick decided to take the stance they did. Have they not been paying attention or do they just not care?

The distraction isn’t coming from the kneeling as the owners claim, the distractions are coming directly from them. Not signing Reid and Kaepernick is the real distraction. To use the excuse of fans and sponsors being angry over the protests and worrying about ratings is ludicrous. The NFL sets the tone and the fans and sponsors fall in line. Why would an organization want to appease people who take issue with Americans exercising their First Amendment rights?

The most ironic thing about this entire situation is New England Patriot’s owner, Robert Kraft, speaking on rapper Meek Mill’s imprisonment and visiting him in jail last month. “I know some of our players in the NFL have talked about this, and I see firsthand that it’s just wrong. Every time I see him, I just come away more impressed. He’s very intelligent. And makes it clear to me we have to do something with criminal justice reform.” You mean to tell me that Kraft is for criminal justice reform…the same reform that Reid wants but he just so happens to bring awareness to the same subject in a different way.

The league and it’s owners will have their day of reckoning and when that day comes, they should be ashamed of themselves for not having an ounce of courage to stand with their players who are using their voice and platform to bring about change.

The National Football League will regret not being on the right side of history.


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