Arbitrator Denies Eric Reid’s Grievance Against Bengals

On October 23, 2018, it was announced that an arbitrator denied the National Football League Players Association’s (NFLPA) grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals. As we have previously reported, on July 11, 2018, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL over its national anthem policy. The policy, announced in May 2018, instructed players to either stand during the anthem or to not come out of the locker room until the anthem is over. In response, the NFLPA filed several non-injury grievances “on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s policy.” Specifically, the NFLPA said, “[t]he claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.” Of the grievance filed, two were filed on behalf of Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid.

Reid was not extended a contract offer by the Cincinnati Bengals in May, 2018 because Reid reportedly refused to promise the Bengals that he would stop joining in the controversial protests. Reid remained a free agent until, in September, he signed a one-year deal with the Panthers. Reid was one of the first players to kneel during the national anthem before games. He has since continued to protest during the anthem. Most recently, Reid knelt during the Panthers-Eagles game on October 21, 2018. During the game, a dispute between Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins and Reid arose before the game’s coin toss.

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