- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

NFL safety Eric Reid said he would continue his grievance against the league even after signing with the Carolina Panthers last month. Now, an independent arbitrator has denied Reid’s case against one particular team.

Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled in favor of the Cincinnati Bengals in Reid’s grievance against the club, filed by the NFL Players’ Association on his behalf.

The Bengals brought Reid in for a free agent visit last offseason. Reid claimed Bengals owner Mike Brown asked him if he would continue to kneel during the national anthem if signed. Cincinnati then did not sign Reid.

The arbitrator ruled it was within the owner’s and the team’s rights to ask that question of Reid.

The NFLPA issued a statement disagreeing with the outcome of the case:

“Arbitrator Shyam Das issued a decision yesterday siding with management and denying Eric Reid’s claim against the Cincinnati Bengals. We are disappointed in this decision, especially since the arbitrator affirms the facts which our filing was based upon and provides no in-depth analysis of why management can engage in behavior that violates fair hiring practices.

“Despite this decision, we are thrilled that Eric Reid is back with an NFL club doing the job he loves and our hope is that Colin Kaepernick follows him back to the playing field soon. We will review the decision more carefully with Eric and his lawyers to consider our next steps.”

Reid was the first San Francisco 49ers teammate to support Kaepernick in his form of protest — kneeling before the national anthem before NFL games — to bring attention to police brutality against blacks.

While this grievance was overruled, whether or not Reid’s team goes forward with any sort of appeals process, they do have a separate grievance still open against the league itself. Like Kaepernick’s own case, it alleges that the team owners colluded to keep him off an NFL team when he was a free agent. The 49ers did not re-sign him last offseason.

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