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The National Football League and its Players Association released a joint statement Wednesday morning saying there’s “no evidence” Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid was specifically targeted for drug testing.
Reid, who signed with the Panthers in late September, raised questions about the process in mid-December after being tested for a seventh time:
The NFL and the NFLPA stated a review found those tests were all randomly generated, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
Joint statement from NFL and NFLPA says a report from the independent administrator of the drug policy showed no evidence Eric Reid was targeted for testing. https://t.co/dTXvVRMTqR
“I guess there was something about some mathematician saying it’s highly improbable, but definitely possible,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told reporters after Reid questioned the system. “But I’ll say this: If my name came up that many times, I’d buy a lottery ticket.”
The 27-year-old defensive back gained notoriety as one of the first supporters of former San Francisco 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick after he began kneeling during the national anthem in August 2016.
Reid, who joined Kaepernick in the protest against racial injustice, continued to kneel after being signed by the Panthers. His decision to continue with the polarizing movement is why his questioning of the drug testing generated so much attention.
The LSU product finished the regular season with 71 combined tackles, five passes defended, one interception and one sack across 13 appearances. Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s 57th-best safety.
Reid is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, though Rivera said in December that he’d like to see him return in 2019.