No evidence Reid targeted for drug testing: NFL, union
A joint probe by the NFL and the league's players union has found no evidence to support claims that Carolina Panthers star Eric Reid was improperly targeted by drug-testers, a statement said Wednesday.
Reid said last month following Carolina's loss to New Orleans he had been selected for his seventh random drug test of the season since signing for the Panthers in September.
The outspoken safety suggested he was being singled out for testing by the NFL as retribution for his collusion lawsuit against the league. However, an investigation by the NFL and NFL Players Association said there was no evidence Reid had been chosen deliberately.
"There is no evidence of targeting or any other impropriety with respect to his selection for testing," a joint NFL-NFLPA statement said Wednesday. Reid, 27, is a former teammate of Colin Kaepernick and has been a staunch ally of the ex-San Francisco quarterback's activism.
Kaepernick has effectively been frozen out of the NFL since being let go by the 49ers in 2017, with no club willing to sign him.
Reid was also released by the 49ers in early 2018 and had claimed in March that he remained unsigned because of his support for Kaepernick, whose 2016 "take a knee" protests to draw attention to racial injustice had triggered a firestorm.
Reid was eventually signed by Carolina and continued to protest this season. The NFL-NFLPA investigation said Reid had been chosen for testing at random by a computer.
"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 an active roster," the statement said.
Reid's high proportion of tests had drawn sympathy from Panthers coach Ron Rivera and teammate Torrey Smith.
"They say it's random, but you have to add to that, it doesn't make sense," Smith said last month. Rivera meanwhile acknowledged that the chances of Reid being chosen at random seven times in 11 weeks were "highly improbable, but definitely possible." "But I'll say this: If my name came up that many times, I'd buy a lottery ticket," Rivera said.