NFL players really admire former embattled quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick was patient-zero of the anti-American protests that many other players adopted since his absence.
And now one anthem-kneeler is following in the controversial quarterback’s recent move in the exact same way.
One of Colin Kaepernick’s biggest predecessors is former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid.
Right now, Reid is a free agent and can’t find a job in the league.
Of course he maintains the reason why the offers aren’t rolling in during the offseason is because of his divisive anthem-kneeling.
In fact, Reid even pleaded that he would not kneel for the upcoming season in a desperate attempt to become employable.
But it’s the classic case of “too little, too late,” right?
It’s this kind of rhetoric that inspired Kaepernick to sue the NFL and team owners over a massive collusion to keep him out of the league.
And Eric Reid has just filed the exact same grievance against the NFL too.
“Free agent safety Eric Reid has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL and retained Mark Geragos, the same attorney who is also handling Colin Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit.
Reid began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality during the 2016 season, and he continued last season after Kaepernick left the team. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Dan Graziano, and the NFLPA confirmed it shortly after with a statement of support for Reid.
Statement on Eric Reid Collusion Grievance pic.twitter.com/Z4eGAADCoE
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 2, 2018
Reid became a free agent one week ago, and despite being one of the better safeties on the market, he’s been unable to find a team this offseason.
The Bengals met with him, though they were acutely concerned over Reid’s kneeling, which Reid has already said he will not continue during the 2018 season.
Reid has been critical of the NFL’s half-measures to allay player concerns, as well as NFL owners expressing pro-player sentiments in a closed-door meeting a week ago, yet still refusing to sign Kaepernick. When Reid spoke up at said meeting, he called the owners out for blackballing Kaepernick.
“I feel like he was hung out to dry,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us.” The room fell quiet.
“Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this. We all let him become Public Enemy No. 1 in this country, and he still doesn’t have a job.”
Reid’s case will probably hew closely to Kaepernick’s, especially since he finds himself frozen out one week after calling out the people who froze out Kaepernick.
They will have to prove not just passive collusion, but an active effort to keep Reid out of the league. Here is how the Collective Bargaining Agreement defines collusion (Section 1), as well as the burden of proof for establishing collusion (Section 6).”
There are probably a multitude of reasons why Reid isn’t on a team right now. He worked out for the Cincinnati Bengals and they ended up passing on him. It could be that his skills are fading, or they think of him as a toxic locker room presence.
And even if this lawsuit wasn’t baseless, owners not wanting the media attention for such a divisive anti-American act is completely reasonable.