The NFL and Colin Kaepernick reached a legal settlement on Feb. 15, likely bringing an end to the NFL’s kneeling saga.
Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has been out of the NFL since 2017. He opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March of that year. He and former teammate Eric Reid filed a grievance against the NFL in 2018, accusing team owners of colluding to keep him unsigned.
Kaepernick started a controversy when he took a knee during the national anthem before the start of a preseason game in 2016. His reasoning was to protest police brutality against minorities in the United States. His action brought on mixed reactions from spectators. Some supported his move, while others were angered. A small minority of football fans threatened to boycott the NFL, with some following through.
The amount agreed upon by the NFL and by Kaepernick and Reid was not disclosed, but some reports speculate that the amount is between $60 million and $80 million. The settlement brought an end to Kaepernick’s and Reid’s grievance.
Before the deal was reached, the grievance was set to go to a full hearing before an arbitrator later this month. With the settlement finished and agreed upon, no further action with their lawsuit will take place.
Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas, lawyers for the NFL and the players, released a joint statement on Feb. 15. “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. “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 had remained out of the public eye for a significant amount of time, but he reappeared in 2018 when Nike launched a new ad campaign commemorating the 30th anniversary of their ongoing #JustDoIt campaign.
The ad was met with mixed reviews from the general public. Many people praised Nike for using Kaepernick as their spokesperson. Others voiced their displeasure. Several videos appeared on social media of people burning their Nike apparel.
You can read more from Mike Ursery on Think Liberty here.