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NFL: Unsigned safety Eric Reid files collusion grievance against the league

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players’ union says former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid filed a grievance against the league, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners.

Reid, a Pro Bowler in 2013, had joined former teammate Colin Kaepernick two seasons ago in kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

Kaepernick wasn’t signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco. Reid continued the quarterback’s protests. The 26-year-old safety became a free agent this offseason when his rookie contract with the 49ers expired.

“Our union is aware that Eric Reid and his legal representatives filed a collusion claim, which will be heard through the arbitration process as spelled out in our collective bargaining agreement,” the NFL Players Association said in a statement Wednesday. “Our union supports Eric and we are considering other legal options to pursue.”

Kaepernick previously filed a collusion grievance that is in the discovery stage. He deposed several league owners and executives, including Commissioner Roger Goodell. Reid is using the same attorneys as Kaepernick.

A league spokesman said Wednesday: “We are abiding by the confidentiality provision of the CBA and have no comment.”

In March, Goodell was asked about Reid, one of the better players at his position in the NFL, not having a job.

“I’ve said this repeatedly to you: The 32 teams make individual decisions on the players who are going to best help their franchises,” Goodell said. “Those are decisions they have to make. They do that every day in the best interest of winning. Teams make those decisions. I’m not directly involved with that.”

Last month, Kaepernick praised Reid for continuing to make a stand for social justice when the quarterback was presented an Amnesty International award in Amsterdam.

“Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy,” Kaepernick said. “But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career.”

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STEELERS PLACE LB RYAN SHAZIER ON IR, ENDING 2018 SEASON

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed linebacker Ryan Shazier on injured reserve for the 2018 season to give him more time to recover from spinal stabilization surgery.

The team made the move on Wednesday, which will open up a roster spot for the AFC North champions as they begin organized team activities later this month.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert ruled Shazier out for 2018 earlier this year. Shazier, injured in a game at Cincinnati last December, walked publicly for the first time in nearly five months when he strode onto the stage to announce Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in last week’s NFL draft.

The 25-year-old Shazier has remained active in the organization during his rehabilitation.

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EX NFL PLAYER, GM MATT MILLEN HAS RARE AILMENT, HEART WOES

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Former NFL player and general manager Matt Millen says he is being treated for a rare disease that has robbed his heart of most of its normal function.

The 60-year-old Millen told the Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania that he has been diagnosed with amyloidosis, a life-threatening illness that may force him to seek a heart transplant. Millen said he has been receiving chemotherapy once a week to treat the condition that left his heart functioning at just 30 percent.

Millen played 12 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL for the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins — and won four Super Bowl rings.

He later served as Detroit’s general manager and has also spent three decades as a broadcaster. Millen told the Morning Call he plans to return to the booth in the fall.

Millen’s heart issues began in 2011, when he first felt chest pain while exercising. Heart tests, including a cardiac catheterization, showed nothing wrong.

Amyloidosis often goes undiagnosed because its symptoms mimic those of more common diseases. But Millen’s symptoms grew worse over time, and he visited doctors for six years before finally getting diagnosed with the rare disease last July.

“I know what you have,” Millen recalled the doctor telling him, “and you’re not going to like it.”

Millen’s case reached the point where he was risking the kind of heart failure that would eventually require a transplant. Millen spent the week before the Super Bowl undergoing tests at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

“When a bump comes up in the road, you deal with it,” Millen said. “It’s ridiculous to feel sorry for yourself. I’m thankful for what I have, and I’ll take what I get.”

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