Drug tests are conducted randomly in the NFL…at least they should be.
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, who I’ve mentioned several times in this blog, claimed earlier this week that he has been drug tested five times in eight games since taking his initial drug test after signing with the panthers during late-September.
He believes these aren’t random.
Reid has of course been a controversial figure in the NFL with his support of former teammate, Colin Kaepernick, and for using the national anthem to protest racial inequality and injustice in America.
Could the NFL perhaps be targeting Reid?
It’s a possibility.
Reid has repeatedly expressed his support for Kaepernick and believes he should be playing in the NFL. Both have filed grievances against the league alleging that NFL team owners colluded to prevent them employment under the influence of President Donald Trump, who’s strongly against players kneeling for the anthem.
Reid has also committed some unnecessary roughness penalties over the past few games which could be another reason for these drug tests if the NFL is involved.
Let’s take a look at these random drug tests.
First, these drug tests are “performed by an independent laboratory, and a computer program selects the names of players to be tested.” The NFL nor NFL Players Association are involved in the testing under the collective bargaining agreement.
“Each week during the preseason and regular season, ten (10) Players on every Club will be tested. By means of a computer program, the Independent Administrator will randomly select the Players to be tested from the Club’s active roster, practice squad list, and reserve list who are not otherwise subject to ongoing reasonable cause testing for performance-enhancing substances.”
With the Panthers having 72 total players making up their active roster, reserves and practice squad, each player has a 13.9 percent chance of being drug tested each week (10/72), but the probability of the same player being tested for five times in eight weeks is just 0.2 according to the USA Today.
It’s not exactly impossible statistically to be drug tested for five times in an eight-week span, but it’s still very unusual which still raises some questions that the NFLPA will investigate.
If it is discovered that the NFL had something to do with this and the reason lies within a desire to defame Reid read over his protests, then there will be some serious backlash against the NFL.