This NFL national anthem kneeler is paying a big price for his antics
National anthem protests took the NFL by storm last season.
The NFL suffered a drop in ratings and major sponsors including Papa Johns fled over the protests.
Now, one of the most vocal protesters is still unsigned and could threaten to sue.
Eric Reid was one of the original players who knelt for the national anthem with Colin Kaepernick in support of Black Lives Matter.
He is currently a free agent and yet to receive any contract offers.
According to Pro Football Talk, Reid met with Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown about joining the team.
Pro Football Talk reports:
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Brown personally met with Reid when Reid visited the Bengals on Monday. Brown, according to the source, initiated discussion regarding the issue of kneeling during the anthem. The conversation almost exclusively centered on the topic, with Brown explaining that he intends to prohibit it — and with Brown at one point asking Reid for his response.
Reid, caught off guard by the line of questioning, wasn’t willing to make a commitment on the spot. Last month, Reid said he’s currently not planning to kneel or otherwise demonstrate during the anthem. But Reid, who is considering other options for bringing attention to societal issues he considers to be important, hasn’t made any final decisions, and he wasn’t willing to do so at the direct request and behest of Brown.
After the meeting with Brown, Reid took a physical and spent time reviewing film with members of the coaching staff. He developed a clear sense that the coaches (specifically, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin) were interested in signing Reid and weren’t concerned about whether he’d kneel or otherwise demonstrate during the anthem or at any other time. Late in the visit, however, coach Marvin Lewis asked Reid if he wanted to clarify anything that Reid told ownership regarding the anthem. Reid said that he had no clarifications or changes to make to what he had said, and the visit ended not long after that without an offer being made to Reid.
Now, Reid could pursue a lawsuit against NFL owners for collusion.
Under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, no team “shall enter into any agreement, expressed or implied, with the NFL or any other club, its employees or agents to restrict or limit individual club decision making as to … whether to negotiate or not to negotiate with any player.”
Reid’s former teammate Colin Kaepernick is still searching for a team and has filed a grievance against the NFL for colluding against him.
But after losing fans and revenue last season, NFL owners are wary of signing any player that would put their America-hating politics ahead of the team.