The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) filed a grievance with the NFL on behalf of free-agent safety Eric Reid on Monday (5/7/18), joining quarterback Colin Kaepernick in that regard.
Mr. Reid is one of the players who chose not to stand for our National Anthem last season, among others.
The player’s union based its grievance on the premise that no NFL rule mandates that players must stand during the playing of the national anthem. The league has indicated it respects “the rights of players to demonstrate,” and the collective bargaining agreement states “league rules supersede club rules,” according to a NFLPA press release.
Monday’s move by the Players Association comes after Reid and his representatives last week filed a grievance under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, alleging collusion has denied him a job for the upcoming 2018 season.
“Colin and Eric have taken courageous action at the expense of their professional careers and personal lives,” Reid’s attorney, Mark Geragos said in a statement to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Geragos also represents Kaepernick in his grievance case.
(You’re right Mr. Geragos, your clients did take, “action at the expense of their professional careers and personal lives.” Now they are feeling the consequences for their actions, but now all of a sudden they and you don’t like it.)
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the NFLPA in our fight for justice, equality and inalienable rights of all Americans.”
(That sounds really good Mr. Geragos, but you forgot to qualify your prior statement. It should read: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the NFLPA in our fight for justice, equality and inalienable rights of all Americans…except those that don’t agree with us.”)
The vast, vast, vast majority of Americans, football fans, and NFL team owners don’t argue that these players have the right to kneel during the national anthem.
However, the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans, football fans, and NFL team owners also don’t like it. They don’t like players choosing to disrespect our country, our flag, or our national anthem by kneeling during the anthem, and they feel they have the right to feel that way.
Additionally, the team owners believe they have the right to not employ players who would have a negative impact their team, either monetarily or public relations-wise.
So the bottom line is, yes, you have the right to say or do whatever you want, but, I also have the right to not agree with or like what you are saying or doing.
Both Reid and Kaepernick are free agents, and looking for employment by one of the 32 teams in the NFL. As of now, no team has chosen to sign either one of them to a contract.
The NFL has not responded to requests for comments on this matter.
Thanks to NFL.com for some of the information included in this article.