Eric Reid: Safety who was a first-round pick in 2013, has 11 interceptions in 5 years, and has made a Pro Bowl.
Outside of extreme and devout NFL fans, all of that is breaking news. Many people, including sports fans, only know that name because he was the first person to kneel with Colin Kaepernick in 2016 to highlight social injustices. To give a quick summary, their efforts sparked controversy, including with our current President Donald Trump. He went about six months without a job before finally signing a contract with the Carolina Panthers at the beginning of the 2017-2018 season. The focus of this article, however, isn’t necessarily what preceded this year, but something throughout the course of this year that’s very hard to ignore.
The NFL administers random drug tests to the players. Eric Reid, in 11 weeks, received 7 drug test notices. Without diving into hard core logistics, the possibility of that happening is 0.17 percent according to the NFL’s rules. Even though the drug tests are randomly administered, the skepticism lies behind the fact that he’s a black man who was at the center of a controversial movement addressing injustices in a country that, in the eyes of many, isn’t progressing fast enough. The stereotypes that follow black men concerning drugs can’t be ignored here, as well. No wonder that hype has built up around this topic.
Reid has a relatively clean record and has been universally perceived as morally esteemed; mutually exclusive from his involvement with kneeling during the anthem. This issue has been prolonged because of Kaepernick still not having a job in the NFL, and now, this issue with Eric Reid and the “coincidental” high frequency of drug tests. No matter how much one cares to talk about it, this is a story that’s impossible to ignore.
The epitome of why players like Reid kneeled is seen in situations like these. The reality of it all, is that we have a full-time adversary. That’s why this is a full-time issue and we need to be full time activists. Our battle isn’t flesh and blood, however (Ephesians 6:12). So, in order to efficiently strategize, we must properly recognize. I often say that the Church needs to assume responsibility in injustices because we have an intimate connection with the Creator. God has a plan for everything. He has a plan for our health. He has a plan for our schools. He has a plan for our prisons. He has a plan for our law enforcement. It’s time to collectively seek His plan and, subsequently, be proponents of implementing it.