The grievance filed by the NFL Players Association on behalf of Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid regarding his visit with the Cincinnati Bengals last spring has been denied by an arbitrator, the players union reported Tuesday.
Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled that the Bengals had the right to ask Reid if he planned to continue to kneel during the national anthem.
The Bengals did not sign Reid, who was a free agent until he was signed by the Panthers.
The NFLPA’s grievance was based on the claim that the Bengals based their decision not to sign Reid solely on his response to the question about his plans during the anthem. The union believed that violated the collective bargaining agreement, since the NFL had not established a policy that required players to stand on the sideline during the anthem or remain in the locker room.
“Arbitrator Shyam Das issued a decision yesterday siding with management and denying Eric Reid’s claim against the Cincinnati Bengals,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “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 has been kneeling during the national anthem this season to protest social injustice and racial inequality.
Reid still has a collusion grievance against the NFL, but that is not expected to be heard in the near future.