Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid — who has taken up the mantle as the default leader of the divisive National Anthem protest movement started by his former teammate, ex-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick — provided Monday what he suggested is more evidence that he is being targeted for his ongoing on-field protests.
Since signing with the Panthers just 11 weeks ago, Reid says he’s been selected for “random” drug testing now seven times. Reid posted a photo of his seventh drug test notification on Monday:
USA Today’s For The Win, which has been tracking Reid’s statistically suspicious drug tests since November, ran the numbers on the chances of Reid being hit with seven drug tests in less than 12 weeks and found the probability to be just .02%.
For The Win notes that Reid’s latest test notification came right after he wore some protest-themed specialized cleats, which Reid touted in another post before the big game against the New Orleans Saints Monday. In the post, Reid quoted the artist, who specifically praised the league-suing Kaepernick.
“My cleats for tonight. Much thanks and appreciation to the artist @2cent_bmike,” Reid wrote. “Here’s his take on the inspiration behind his design, ‘It’s a tribute to the history of protest , centered around the quote “if not us , who? If not now, when?” meaning we all benefit and stand on the shoulders of those giants who decided their moment was best used for the sake of the people. And it’s always the right time to do what’s right. No different from you using your moment to take a knee. It also has the 10 point platform of Colin’s Know Your Rights Camp.'”
Like Kaepernick, Reid has leveled a collusion accusation against the NFL and claims that he continues to be targeted in various ways by the league, including via on-field fines and now the “random” tests. Reid commented on the latest development and if it will play into his ongoing grievance case on Tuesday:
Reid has frequently made headlines over the last year for his outspoken support of Kaepernick’s protest of the country and law enforcement. Back in October, Reid got in a heated on-field exchange with Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins over the issue. Reid has accused Jenkins of attempting to “co-opt” the movement in the form of the Players Coalition, which Jenkins co-founded. Originally pro-protest, Jenkins agreed with the league to stop the anthem-kneeling in exchange for the league investing about $100 million into social justice causes.
As seen below, Reid’s long-held grudge against “sellout” Jenkins exploded on the field before the game, resulting in Reid’s teammates having to intervene before things got more ugly:
In response, Kaepernick took to Twitter to declare his approval of Reid’s actions: “Eric Reid!!! Enough said!!! #ImwithReid,” he wrote.
After the game, Reid slammed Jenkins as a “sellout” and “neocolonialist,” who, he said, “co-opted” the movement by working with the league to raise money for social justice rather than continuing to protest on the field.
Kaepernick sparked the movement in pre-season of 2016, when he began to refuse to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Asked by reporters why he wasn’t honoring the flag, Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”