Los Angeles (AFP) – Former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid has lodged a lawsuit against the NFL alleging he is being frozen out for his support for Colin Kaepernick’s protests, US media reported on Wednesday.
Reid, an unsigned free agent, has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL similar to the one filed by Kaepernick last October.
Both Kaepernick, who was the first to kneel during the national anthem, and Reid are represented by the same attorney, Mark Geragos.
The NFL Players Association said in a statement Wednesday the organisation was aware of Reid’s lawsuit.
“Our union is aware that Eric Reid and his legal representatives filed a collusion claim, which will be heard through the arbitration process as spelled out in our Collective Bargaining Agreement,” the NFL Players Association said.
“Our union supports Eric and we are considering other legal options to pursue.”
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the end of the 2016-2017 season. He was later released by the 49ers.
It followed his 2016 protests aimed at raising awareness of racial injustice after the deaths of several unarmed black men during confrontations with law enforcement.
Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick in the protests and was a prominent voice in support of the quarterback.
Reid, 26, played for the 49ers last season but entered free agency in March. He later complained that his activism was being held against him.
“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous,” he wrote on social media.