Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid needs to play the lottery because he’s a lucky man. So lucky, in fact, that when the NFL is randomly drug testing its players, Reid has been fortunate enough to have had his name chosen seven times in 11 weeks.
And get this, the NFL, the league that Reid is suing for collusion, has joined with the NFL Players Association to issue a joint statement claiming that the Reid wasn’t targeted for random drug tests, he’s just really lucky.
Reid said after a Dec. 17 loss to the New Orleans Saints that he had been selected for testing for the seventh time since signing with Carolina in late September. He implied that the tests were not random as stated in the collective bargaining agreement and that he was being targeted because of his collusion grievance against the NFL.
The NFL and NFLPA responded by asking John Lombardo, the administrator of the performance-enhancing drug testing program for 28 years, to look into the matter.
And guess what they found? No collusion!
“There is no evidence of targeting or any other impropriety with respect to his selection for testing,” the two organizations said in a joint statement released Wednesday, ESPN reports.
Sources told ESPN that Reid may not have been accurate about the number of times he’s been tested. Reid told ESPN that the NFL and NFLPA came back with a different number of tests that Reid.
What’s interesting about this all is that the NFLPA, which is supposed to work for the players’ interests and the Players Association, who filed the grievance on Reid’s behalf in May, is now out here joint statement-ing with the league.
The grievance alleged team owners and the league, influenced by President Donald Trump, colluded to prevent Reid’s employment because of his protests against social injustice during the pregame national anthem.
After being signed, Reid began being selected for postgame testing at a rate that, according to Reid and Carolina coach Ron Rivera, raised suspicion.
“I guess there was something about some mathematician saying it’s highly improbable, but definitely possible,” Rivera said after Reid said he was tested a seventh time. “But I’ll say this: If my name came up that many times, I’d buy a lottery ticket.”
I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that Reid just so happens to be one of the most vocal players in the league. He was the first player to join former San Francisco 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick in his kneeling protest against injustices in the black community. Reid has continued to kneel since becoming a member of the Panthers and he continues to be drug tested.
But Reid isn’t stupid. He knows that he’s being watched as his grievance against the NFL is scheduled to be heard later this year. Not only has Reid been drug tested several times this season, but he’s also been fined four times for questionable hits during games. Reid was also recently ejected for a hit on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, ESPN reports.
“We take any claim questioning the integrity of our collective bargained performance-enhancing drug policy seriously,” the joint statement, which only looked at Reid’s drug testing complaints said. “We will not breach any player’s confidentiality but can confirm that the report documents the dates he was randomly selected for testing and the actual dates of the drug tests.
“The report also demonstrates that Mr. Reid’s tests were randomly generated via computer algorithm and that his selection for testing was normal when compared with the number of tests players were randomly selected for throughout the league during the time that he was on the active roster.”
So there it is, Reid hasn’t been targeted by the NFL when it comes to random drug testing he just always seems to be randomly picked out of a box that only has one player’s name in it.