NFL Kneeler Eric Reid Files Collusion Grievance Because Nobody Will Hire Him
San Francisco, CA – In 2016, defensive back Eric Reid supported teammate Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest and kneeled alongside the quarterback during the playing of the national anthem.
Now, Reid has joined Kaepernick again, this time by filing a collusion grievance against the league over his employment status after no teams have signed the free agent, according to ESPN.
Kaepernick filed his own collusion grievance in 2017 when he was not signed by any NFL teams after quitting his team, and ended up sitting out the season.
According to ESPN, Reid is working with attorney Mark Geragos, who also represented Kaepernick in his grievance against the league.
"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 NFL Players Association said in a statement Wednesday, according to ESPN. "Our union supports Eric and we are considering other legal options to pursue."
Reid has claimed that no teams are signing him since he became a free agent in March because of his anti-police protests.
Reid, 26, is a fifth-year free safety and has played his entire career with the San Francisco 49ers. He had 10 career interceptions, including two last year when he played in 13 games.
Multiple NFL executives, including 49ers’ GM John Lynch, have said there was a “slow” market for safeties in free agency this year.
ProFootballTalk reported that the Cincinnati Bengals had talks with Reid and asked him about whether he’d kneel for the national anthem if they signed him.
Bengals owner Mike Brown told Reid that he plans to ban kneeling in the upcoming season, according to ProFootballTalk.
Reid said he wasn’t willing to make a commitment.
ProFootballTalk reported that Reid said he thought the coaching staff wanted to sign him and didn’t care about the national anthem issue. But then head coach Marvin Lewis asked Reid if he wanted to clarify anything he told Brown. Reid said he didn’t. And the Bengals never offered Reid a contract.
The Bengals told ProFootballTalk they consider conversations with prospective players as confidential.