With a potentially explosive and divisive hearing on the horizon over the former and present players’ collusion lawsuit against the league, the parties have come to a settlement. The touchdown for the social injustice protesting ex-San Francisco 49er and currently Carolina Panthers was made public today by their lawyer Mark Geragos and the NFL in a joint statement.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” the statement said dryly Friday as the collusion case was withdrawn. “As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”
Confidential or not, it is clear that the once kneeling and committed Kaepernick and Reid didn’t walk this one back without getting paid, as they both made clear in the past they would seek in any possible deal. Or put it another way, the so-called mighty NFL proved no so clutch and probably paid out the players in excess of $50 million, an insider estimated.
The announcement of the settlement comes as NFL and the football players were set to present their final finding in front of the appointed arbitrator later this month.
If the league’s past failures to get the case tossed off out are any indication, that hearing had a distinct chance of not going their and the team owners’ way – which would have been a damning result for an NFL trying desperately to put the politics and controversary that Kaepernick’s public protest during the playing of the national anthem behind them.
The NFL Players Association, who shot down the league’s formal attempt to ban field side protests in the most recent season, issued their support for the Nike sponsored Kaepernick and the still outspoken Reid today too:
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) February 15, 2019
The multi-year playing, now much honored and forthright Kaepernick filed his grievance against the NFL in the fall of 2017 after several months of free agency that saw not a single one of the 32 teams in the league offering the 49ers 2013 Super Bowl quarterback a contract. The NFL denied that any blackballing had occurred and last summer moved to see if there was even enough evidence for the matter to go forward.
In August 2018, the NFL and and NFL Players Association appointed arbitrator tackled the Roger Goodell led organization’s attempt to have Kaepernick’s case dismissed and set the stage for a pitched battle that could have exposed the NFL’s true soft underbelly.
Now, we know that Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid just won a Super Bowl of their own.