After the New Orleans Saints beat the Carolina Panthers in a high-scoring baseball game on Monday Night Football, Panthers safety Eric Reid found yet another notice informing him he had been "randomly" selected to be tested under the NFL's drug testing program. Random is in scare quotes because this now marks 7 weeks out of 11 that Reid has been selected since joining the Panthers on September 27.
Under the terms of the policy, each week of the regular season, ten players from every team will be selected for random testing. Yahoo crunched the numbers on this and based on a roster of 72 players, the chances Reid would have been randomly selected are insanely low: .17 percent low.
Reid obviously thinks something is up because of his connection to Colin Kaepernick, kneeling during the national anthem, and his collusion lawsuit against the league in which he claims he was blackballed by NFL teams for both. Coincidentally (or not), as part of the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats program, Reid wore cleats last night depicting Kaepernick kneeling in the now infamous photo at the top of this post from when they both played in San Francisco, as well as Kaepernick's ten points from his Know Your Rights Camp.
While the odds are incredibly low that he would be selected this often at random, it's also hard to say that the league specifically is at fault. Under the terms of the policy, as collectively bargained between the NFL and the NFL Players' Association, testing is scheduled by Dr. John Lombardo of the World Anti-Doping Agency, an independent third party administrator that's jointly hired and paid by the NFL and NFLPA. So, unless someone at the NFL is somehow interfering with that process, or the independent administrator has an axe to grind with Reid, it seems like a stretch to say he's being singled out.
But Reid has been on about this for a while now, most recently following his sixth random test after a loss to the Seattle Seahawks on November 25. Speaking to reporters at the time, Reid said “It’s supposedly random but I know what I’m fighting against, I know who I’m fighting against. It’s tactics that they’re using for the collusion suit.” After that selection, the NFLPA said it was looking into the matter. Less than a month later, he was selected again.
“I don’t have anything to hide. Secondly, this is supposed to be a random system. It doesn’t feel very random,” he said. “Plus, I’m privy to information that’s in my lawsuit that’s not free to the public. So I know who I’m going against and it’s not surprising in the least.”
Reid also compared his treatment under the program to New York City's infamous "stop and frisk" program, which allowed police to overwhelmingly harass innocent people of color. "The system’s lying," he said, "much like what I’m protesting … I’m not losing any sleep over it but it should be talked about."