Colin Kaepernick and the NFL have reached a settlement in the controversial quarterback’s collusion grievance against the league.
On Friday, reports CNBC, the NFL and lawyers for Kaepernick and Eric Reid (who filed a similar grievance) issued a joint statement announcing a settlement had been reached in the collusion case, after the players alleged they had been blacklisted from the NFL due to their insistence on kneeling during the U.S. national anthem as a peaceful protest against racial inequality and police brutality.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and [Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid] have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” the athletes’ attorneys, Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas, said in a statement. “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.”
Kaepernick, 31, was dropped by the San Francisco 49ers at the end of the 2016 season, and has yet to be hired by another team. In November 2017, he filed a grievance against the league, accusing the NFL of colluding to keep him from playing due to his controversial protests. In May 2018, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) filed a similar grievance on behalf of Reid, the first player to join Kaepernick in taking a knee.
“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 NFLPA said in separate 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.”
While the terms of the settlement remain confidential, NFL reporter Mike Freeman reports that the settlement was a hefty one, tweeting that “team officials are speculating to me” that “the NFL paid Kaepernick in the $60 to $80 million range.”
Although Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, he cast a large shadow over the 2019 Super Bowl, with artists including Rihanna and Cardi B reportedly turning down the halftime performance slot at the big game to show their support, while numerous celebrities announced their intention to boycott this year’s Super Bowl.
Maroon 5, who ultimately headlined with guests Travis Scott and Big Boi, have been roundly criticized for agreeing to perform in light of the controversy.