The San Francisco 49ers recently held their player election to determine who will represent them with the NFL Players Association. They elected safety Eric Reid the their representative, with Bruce Miller and Alex Boone serving as co-alternates.
Each team has a representative and alternates. The union rep has a variety of duties. For example, it is his responsibility to pass along a lot of information from the union. Having a rep for each team eases the communication between the D.C.-based NFLPA and the 32 teams spread around the country.
Another thing the player rep does is vote on behalf of his teammates on various issues. This is particularly notable on Friday because the reps could be voting on the new drug policy. The 2011 collective bargaining agreement involved plans to have a new drug policy that would test for HGH, among other things. Three years later, after very little progress, the NFL and NFLPA finally got serious about the drug policy, and might have a deal soon.
Thursday evening, NFLPA spokesperson George Atallah tweeted this out
NFLPA Player Representatives have been asked to set aside time tomorrow to review and potentially vote on new drug policies.— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) September 12, 2014
Important business for the brand new rep. Part of his job is to learn about the policy and begin the discussion with the rest of the 49ers. The union will provide plenty of guidance on the new policy once it is in place, but in the meantime, Reid will be the guy representing the 49ers at the vote.
There is no word on how Reid's election went down, but Reid replaces former 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin as the team's representative. Impressive stuff for the second year player, and potentially a sign of the respect he has in the locker room.