The NFL Players Association filed a non-injury grievance and a system arbitrator case on behalf of free-agent safety Eric Reid on Monday.
The union based its grievance on the premise that no NFL rule mandates players stand during the playing of the national anthem, that 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.
The safety market has been remarkably slow in free agency this offseason. Veteran safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Tre Boston also remain unsigned. Reid has cited his social activism including kneeling during the national anthem as reason for him remaining unsigned. Reid has said he does not plan to kneel during anthem.
In its Monday filing, the union alleges a club appears to have based its decision not to sign a player based on the player’s statement that he would challenge the implementation of a club’s policy prohibiting demonstration, which is contrary to the League policy, and that at least one club owner has asked preemployment interview questions about a player’s intent to demonstrate.
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James Harden broke Wesley Johnson’s ankles with a stepback 3-pointer earlier this season, and there’s always a chance we’ll see more defenders go down. Harden has made more than three times as many 3-pointers on stepback shots as any other player this season.