Arbitrator Rules Against Eric Reid, Says Teams Can Screen Kneelers
New York, NY – A teammate who helped Colin Kaepernick lead anti-police kneeling demonstrations as San Francisco 49ers has lost his case against the Cincinnati Bengals for asking him if he’d kneel if they hired him.
An arbitrator ruled Tuesday that the Bengals had the right to ask National Football League (NFL) player Eric Reid if he planned to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem.
TMZ reported that the Bengals met with Reid on April 9, at which time he was asked the question.
Reid refused to answer the question and, consequently, was not signed by the Bengals, according to NFL.com.
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) sued and claimed that the Bengals didn’t sign Reid because of the question about the National Anthem.
The union argued that it was a precondition of employment and it violated the collective bargaining agreement, NFL.com reported.
However, arbitrator Shyam Das determined the Bengals were well within their rights to ask Reid about his plans for future protests.
After the kerfuffle with the Bengals, Reid was signed by the Carolina Panthers. He has knelt during the National Anthem so far this season.
When the Panthers played the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 21, he got into a confrontation with Philadelphia’s Malcolm Jenkins prior to the coin toss related to the kneeling.
In an altercation that was captured on video, the two players approached each other and exchanged words before they were separated by their teammates.
Reid and Jenkins have been exchanging barbs since Jenkins co-founded the Players Coalition, and stopped kneeling during the National Anthem after the NFL promised to donate $100 million to causes important to the new organization, according to ESPN.
Reid called Jenkins a sell out after Sunday’s game.
"He co-opted with the movement that was started by Colin to get his organization started. It was cowardly. He sold us out," Reid said, according to ESPN.
Reid also called the Players Coalition an “NFL-funded subversion group.”
Kaepernick tweeted his support for Reid after the game.
“Eric Reid!!! Enough said!!!” Kaepernick posted.