Eric Reid kept both his collusion case against the National Football League (NFL) and former teammate Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest against anti-Black police violence alive after he signed with the Carolina Panthers this season. Now, his supporters wonder if he’s being punished for his actions.
Panthers beat reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques of The Charlotte Observer tweeted on Sunday (November 25) that Reid took a league-mandated random drug test after the game that day. Reid told Louis-Jacques that it was his sixth test since signing with the Panthers two months ago.
Eric Reid was randomly selected by the NFL to take a drug test today. He told me it’s his 6th drug test since signing w/ Panthers on Sept. 27, 5th random (1st test was part of his physical). “This is supposed to be a random system. It doesn’t feel very random.”— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) November 25, 2018
“This is supposed to be a random system,” Reid said. “It doesn’t feel very random.”
According to the league and NFL Players Association’s latest performance-enhancing drug protocol, a computer program and independent administrator randomly selects ten players on each team for drug testing every week. USA Today reports that individual players have only about 0.2 percent chance of being chosen for testing as often as Reid has in the past eight weeks.
Reid did not outright accuse the league of punishing his activism with these tests. But many commentators have condemned it as retaliation for his ongoing protest and support of racial justice causes.
The NFL is clearly going after @E_Reid35 and they’re doing it in plain sight. This is where I wish the union would really get Eric’s back and challenge this sham.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) November 26, 2018
NESSA (@nessnitty) November 26, 2018
With regards to Eric Reid, the NFL is trying to kill two birds with one stone. They’re trying to make it appear as if he was not colluded against by rehiring him, while trying to besmirch his character and tax his earnings via on lowballed earnings, on field fines, and drug test. pic.twitter.com/6kOLgs9BDv— LEFT? (@LeftSentThis) November 26, 2018
It is imperative that we ADD the “random drug test” administered by the NFL as inclusive/extensions of collusive actions against Eric Reid. It should be seen as a ploy to discredit the character of an employee suing their employer.— LEFT? (@LeftSentThis) November 26, 2018
The NFL tried to take away Eric Reid’s livelihood by trying to blackball him because they didn’t like him protesting police brutality. They continue to try to target him by over drug-testing him. This isn’t an accident. https://t.co/Ou9AUQaCdu— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) November 26, 2018
As of press time, there have been no official responses from the Panthers, the NFL or the NFL Players Association.