Eric Reid Files Grievance Against NFL

Former 49ers safety Eric Reid has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. He adds that Reid has hired attorney Mark Geragos, who has also represented Colin Kaepernick. In a statement, the NFLPA expressed support for Reid and indicated that the union will also explore other avenues in the legal process to support his fight. 

Reid entered free agency as one of the best safeties available, but there hasn’t been much of a market for him so far. The NFL veteran personally believes that his participation in anthem protests has kept him from finding work.

The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set, but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too,” Reid tweeted in March.

Before the start of free agency, I ranked Reid as the 23rd best player available on our top 50 list with the caveat that Reid’s protest participation could hurt him. That does appear to be the case, as lesser free agents at his position have already found NFL homes for 2018. However, it should also be noted that Reid is not the only talented safety who is out of work. Kenny Vaccaro and Tre Boston are also floating in free agent limbo despite years of starting experience.

For his part, Reid believes that football evaluators are interested in signing him, but owners of teams are standing in the way of a deal. It’s unclear how Reid’s legal action will impact his bid to land with a club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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49 comments on “Eric Reid Files Grievance Against NFL

  1. carlos15

    If an owner disagrees with your position on systemic oppression and doesn’t want the headache of having you display it at your job I would think that is their right too. If I showed up at work everyday and protested a cause my employer wouldn’t stand for it. They certainly wouldn’t be obligated to keep me employed despite my behavior. It doesn’t matter what the cause is, go to work and do your job and don’t cause distractions. Protest the things you want to protest on your own time.

    • justinept

      True for most of us. However, most of us are not in a union, working under a collectively bargained agreement with our bosses. The CBA clearly prohibits owners from influencing other owners not to negotiate with players. I don’t know if that’s what’s happening here. But it is what Reid is claiming. If he can prove it, he will win.

      • dmart93

        Im not in disagreement with you but explain to me how that could ever be a win. Yes they would be violating legal terms of the cba but the owners can’t lose with that. If They find out the owners violated the terms Reid and Kap are still out of jobs.

        • bowserhound

          But the next CBA will be hell for owners and justly so if any are found to have colluded in any matter.

          • cka2nd

            FYI, there’s an entire Wikipedia page on “Major League Baseball collusion” with the following sentence:

            “A final settlement of the three collusion cases was reached in November 1990. The owners agreed to pay the players $280 million, with the MLBPA deciding how to distribute the money to the damaged players.”

            I mention this not to compare the details or charges of Kaepernick’s and Reid’s cases with the MLB cases, but to note that collusion among owners in professional sports HAS been exposed before.

      • 700Level

        Where is your evidence that owners are influencing other owners here? If a team doesn’t need or have the cap room for a relatively high-priced free agent safety are they engaging in collusion? Of course not.
        This is not the same facts and circumstances as what happened w/ MLB in the 80’s.

        • cka2nd

          “This is not the same facts and circumstances as what happened w/ MLB in the 80’s.”

          Which is why I wrote “I mention this not to compare the details or charges of Kaepernick’s and Reid’s cases with the MLB cases.”

          Collusion need only be proven to have occurred between two teams. One or the other of these two cases may still prove that.

  2. bigjonliljon

    Damned cry baby. Actions have consequences. In our country, you are free to express yourself. Men and woman have died to give you this right. And you disrespect them by kneeling. Good luck with your law suit. You will lose but again, actions have consequences …

    • justinept

      1) the national anthem is forced patriotism. Played in the wrong setting (and sporting events are the wrong setting), it offers zero meaning.

      2) players are only on the field because the US Army pays the NFL for the publicity. So this is even less about patriotism. And 100% about capitalism.

      3) you can ask 100 service members their opinion, and you’ll get roughly half who feel that kneeling isn’t disrespectful. You have your opinion, but don’t act as if yours is the only one.

      4) your logic is flawed. People fought and died so we could freely express ourselves. Standing during the anthem at a sporting event is not a freedom of expression. It’s forced patriotism driven by capitalism- something you’re forced to do. Not standing is the freedom of expression that people fought and died for. If a service member sees the public exhibiting a freedom of expression as being disrespectful to their service, then they need to re-examine why they fought – because it clearly wasn’t to give people the right to express themselves freely.

      5) actions do have consequences. And unions have collective bargaining agreements. Reid is accusing the league of conspiring to keep him out. In that, he’s saying that owners and league officials are pressuring other league owners not to negotiate with him. That would be a violation of the CBA. So while we do agree that actions have consequences, the consequences must be allowable under the rules.

      • itslonelyatthetrop

        It’s kind of odd, I support the protesters right to kneel and that the U.S. is not a country that forces you to stand for the National Anthem or salute the flag. At least not with legislation making it a crime not to, the court of public opinion is another topic entirely, but anyway- but I stand for the Anthem and the flag because we live in a country where we don’t have to. A country that legally protects the rights of citizens who don’t like it. (see Texas v. Johnson) and I may not agree with what they have to say, but I will defend to the death their right to say it… Voltaire.

      • Jayson Morand

        That’s funny, I always thought paying taxes was forced patriotism. I guess Tre Boston can sue too. He’s also an excellent safety who is also looking for work.

      • 700Level

        Wow. Where to even begin w/ this b.s.?

        1) Standing for the national anthem isn’t forced patriotism, it’s called respect. You stand for other countries’ national anthems when they are played at sporting events (as NFL players did in London last year) out of respect too.

        2) False. Players have been on the field, standing for the national anthem for decades. Don’t believe me? Go look at game film from the 60’s and 70’s.

        3) Show me an actual poll or otherwise your claim is complete speculation.

        4) Again, it’s called respect. Furthermore, the players are at their JOB, not in a public park after work. Unless a state law or their CBA says otherwise, they have no right to protest at work.

        5) There is no evidence for anything Reid is saying. Many teams already have their defensive backfields set or are up against the cap. For other teams he lowered his value by being a SJW jack@ss.

  3. radzyfsu

    How dare these owners think about their business and the hundreds of employees they employ

    • bowserhound

      Good point. If a team signed this guy they would most likely go out of business before his contract was up.

      • Roll

        He never said it would go out of business but fact of life. If you have less capital (less ratings in this case) this means cutting expenses to stay profitable. Cutting expenses usually means layoffs which means instead of having 200+ employees you downgrade to 175.

        The company i work for had the stock prices drop about 5% and over the last year and our group of 30 dropped down to 25 people as they cut expenses and we are one of the smaller groups. The larger areas had bigger hits than us.

  4. TJECK109

    Yeah I can imagine walking into an interview for a job and not committing to whether I wouldn’t protest the national anthem for the entire world to see.

    You aren’t just a player once you sign that contract and put on that uniform. You are a representative of the owner and team.

    The same freedoms that gives people the right to protest also include the owners of businesses to determine who they employ. Social activism isn’t a protected class under equal opportunity.

  5. Rocket32

    How do these guys not understand why a team wouldn’t want to bring these distractions in and the negative publicity they would bring? Maybe these guys should have thought twice about bringing their own beliefs/politics on to the field with them.

    I agree with carlos15. Just because they are athletes dosen’t mean they should think they’re entitled to being able to freely and carelessly protest whatever they want while on the job and representing their employer. As Carlos said, most others don’t have the luxury of getting away with that either.

    • cka2nd

      So why should an owner have the right to tell an employee who is doing their job that they can’t express themselves politically at the same time as long as it doesn’t interfere with their job? The actual job performance of neither Kaepernick nor Reid suffered because they knelt during the anthem. Neither did my job performance when I used to wear political buttons while doing my job. Why should freedom of expression stop at the factory or office door if it doesn’t actually affect the job?

      • TJECK109

        Ok go ask owner of any company if they want the negative publicity and potential loss in sales because someone feels their protest is more important.

        I think they have a right to protest as much as an owner has a right to decide whether they want that publicity attached to their product on the field.

        Look at the amount of sponsors that pulled adds from the woman on Fox News after she bashed one of the survivors of the Florida shooting.

        You don’t just represent your beliefs

      • titanforever

        Because such protests affects the business of football. They have a perfect right to express opinions on their own time. They are paid to play ball and REPRESENT THEIR ORGANIZATION IN A MANNER THE OWNERS DICTATE

  6. I give no fox

    I wonder if owners would be up in arms if a player held the confederate flag during the national anthem. They like to make this argument that it is disrespectful to the flag, military service, or the country if you kneel during the anthem. However, any person who waves a confederate flag (the flag of a “nation” that went to war with the US) doesn’t get questioned about their disrespecting America, the American flag, our military, etc. it’s a double standard rooted in racism. Fans booed the players for kneeling during the anthem. Booing during the anthem!!! Do you see the hypocrisy? If you can’t force someone to stand during the anthem, then why are you punishing them for not doing so. It is such a joke.

    • RockHard

      Who tf is out there waving a confederate flag?? Oh that’s right, no one ever! Stupidest comment I’ve seen in awhile. Congrats

      • I give no fox

        Are you for real? I live in the north east and see pickup trucks with confederate flags on them all the time. Stickers, decals, magnets, hats, shirts. Many places actually. Have you ever been to a country concert? Been anywhere in the South? Way to provide some insight to my comment. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just like some people on here say that the social injustice these players are protesting isn’t real just because they don’t see it in their lives. Thanks for your absolutely valueless reply. Congrats on the dumbest reply I have seen in a while.

        • 700Level

          How about you answer his question: What player is waving the confederate flag at a football game? Of course the answer is no one. You whole rant about the Confederate flag has absolutely NOTHING to do w/ Reid or players kneeling. Thanks for playing though.

          • I give no fox

            How bout you read my statement again and then his. My comment was a hypothetical, hence the lead in “I wonder if”. He said who is waving, not what football player, just a general who. To which I did answer. If he meant football player, I will say again my comment was a hypothetical. Good talk bro!

  7. Senioreditor

    The owners are going to pay dearly when this is over. MLB got hit decades ago and it was very painful. This one will be worse.

    • bigjonliljon

      No they won’t. Collusion is so very hard to prove. The next CBA will be a battle. But at the end of the day, they will come to an agreement because the players needvthe owners and vice versa

      • Senioreditor

        You know nothing about Discovery obviously. The owners are not that smart, they’ll be plenty of evidence and significant damages to pay. Just remember this post.

        • 700Level

          And you know very little about proving collusion. The MLB situation was a completely different set of circumstances.

  8. Z-A
    Z-A

    Entitlement issues these days. If they dont want to sign you they dont want to sign you. Should Tim Tebow sue the league bc they dont want his Jesus parade show at press conferences?

    • Decius

      Tim Tebow is out of a job based on his play. Mr Reid is out of a job based on his views that are not related to his job. It should be a meritocracy, not an opportunity to punish someone because they don’t feel the way you want them to. It should be about the ability to perform the job. I deal with Unions all the time. They are gonna crush the league in this case. Pretty basic stuff.

  9. sportsfan101

    Players need to realize this is a business, are ceo’s allowed to protest there opinions during work hours or activity act out religious beliefs? No they would be fired. Stop acting like Bc your a professional athlete the rules don’t apply to you. I’m sick of players saying there protests arnt against military or police when we all know it is. Keep your personal options and beliefs to yourself and make money. So sick of this bullshit

  10. cjmask

    The media is largely to blame for all of this. Giving the attention to the attention-seekers. If it was never mentioned by the media and sports shows every single week of NFL football, it would be a non issue. But it’s like every week there is a “who is kneeling?” segment on the pregame shows and personally I don’t care who stands, sits, or kneels. Has nothing to do with football and I just don’t care. It has not raised awareness for me personally, the “systemic oppression” Reid whines about is the same “systemic oppression” that landed him in the NFL to begin with. The system isn’t oppressing anyone.

  11. leprechaun

    Hope he saved his money wisely. If I own a team I set the rules plain and simple.
    Example the Yankees no Beards.
    Lots of pro teams players travel in shirt and tie.
    So if a owner says your ass is standing during the National Anthem then your ass better be standing

  12. 2012orioles

    I hate the division this stuff brings. What needs to happend for them to stand? I don’t see where there is systemic oppression. I see the media lying about numerous things to gather votes.

  13. Ironman_4life

    Ill tell you what. If im paying you millions a year, you will wear pink panties if i tell you to …

  14. Marcell24

    We don’t hate the military, we don’t hate police officers, we don’t even hate those that can’t comprehend those first two statements. What we hate is seeing innocent people dying everyday because the bad cops or bad people with guns want to be trigger happy. We kneel to get your attention. To get you to realize there is oppression still in this country. Being black is a strike against us already. I can’t count how many times I’ve been discriminated against just because of my skin color. Don’t act like you know everything when you aren’t the ones living in our shoes everyday with a target on our backs. Good bless every man and woman who laid their lives down for this country. God bless the good police offers who really protect and serve.

  15. jwag777

    Funny how it’s ok to protest something you disagree with, but if someone disagrees with your protest, or how you protested, it’s wrong.

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