The anti-American protests have propelled the NFL into an endless tailspin.
As fans fled from the NFL in droves, Colin Kaepernick, the pied piper of the protests, sued the league for colluding against him.
Now one player suggests someone else could be joining Kaepernick in taking legal action.
Kaepernick’s lawsuit on the basis of collusion is entirely frivolous, but that hasn’t stopped newly signed cornerback Richard Sherman to speculate that litigious measures would be taken if Kaepernick’s former teammate Eric Reid doesn’t get signed by a new team.
Former 49er and anthem protester Eric Reid, has not yet been signed by a new club. Reid believes that his anthem protests are a likely reason for why he hasn’t been signed.
It also appears that newly-signed 49er Richard Sherman might agree with him.
During a press conference in San Francisco, Sherman, who also served as a player representative in Seattle, addressed the apparent lack of interest in Reid.
“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league so he deserves to be paid accordingly.
“So, there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up, but if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”
Reid was among the first players to join Kaepernick in his anthem protests. He also blasted Vice President Pence for walking out of a Colts-49ers game in October, referring to it as a “PR stunt,” and “systematic oppression.”
For those reasons, some teams might understandably have some caution when discussing the option of signing Reid. However, there are football reasons for not signing him as well.
Despite Richard Sherman’s contention that Reid is among “the top-five, top-10 safeties in this league,” the 49ers clearly did not think so. In fact, they moved Reid from his natural safety position, to weakside linebacker last season. A move they would not likely have made if he was as good as Richard Sherman thinks he is.
Then there’s the problem of Richard Sherman’s former teammate Michael Bennett. Bennett was not only an outspoken anthem protester, he publicly smeared the Las Vegas Police Department as racist. Bennett accused the LVPD of arresting him in during an active shooter investigation simply because he was black. However, police video later emerged which showed that to clearly not be the case.
If Michael Bennett can behave like that and land a job, as he did recently with the Philadelphia Eagles, then Richard Sherman and the NFLPA are going to have a very hard time trying to prove that teams are singling out Eric Reid for his anthem protests.
A hard pill for Kaepernick to swallow is that 32 teams independently decided that he isn’t worth the trouble.
In Reid’s case, he could be headed in that same direction, and it would be his own fault. Reid badmouthed the owners a mere two days into free agency. He couldn’t even wait one week.
Also, Reid essentially called fellow player-activist Malcolm Jenkins a liar in his dealings with the owners who capitulated to player demands and earmarked $89 million to social causes.
Rebuking prospective employees and quibbling with compatriots in public aren’t the best ways to land a new job.