Kaepernick settles collusion case with NFL

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid have reached settlements with the NFL over their cases alleging collusion, their lawyers and the league announced Friday.

Both men alleged that the NFL and team owners colluded to freeze them out of the league for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. The players’ lawyers and the league said they have decided to resolve the players’ grievances.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances,” attorneys Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas said in a joint statement. 

The NFL issued the same statement, which noted that the resolution is subject to a confidentiality agreement and neither party will comment further on the settlement.


{mosads}Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was the first to take a knee during the anthem in the 2016 season, and filed a formal grievance against the league in 2017.

Reid, the first player to join Kaepernick in the protests, filed a collusion grievance the following May, retaining the same attorney as his former teammate.

Reid signed with the Carolina Panthers in September, but Kaepernick has not been signed to a team. An arbitrator ruled in August that Kaepernick’s case could go to trial.

The NFL Players Association said they do not know the details of the settlement, but are supportive of the players’ decision.

“We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them,” the association said in a statement.

“We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”

The protests during the anthem, and Kaepernick in particular, drew ire from conservatives, including President Trump. The president repeatedly railed against players who kneeled during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” urging NFL owners to fire participating players.

Some conservative NFL fans boycotted the league over the protests, and Vice President Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game after players kneeled. 

The NFL attempted to crack down on the protests by issuing a policy requiring players to stand for the anthem, which they later walked back.

The protests appear to have mostly dispersed in the 2018 season, but Kaepernick has stayed in the national spotlight as a civil rights icon. Last year, he became the face of Nike’s 50th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, prompting opponents to boycott Nike.  

Tags Donald Trump Lawsuit National anthem protests NFL Settlement

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