Kaepernick, Eric Reid settle collusion grievances with NFL

  • In Sports/Football
  • 2019-02-15 23:58:46Z
  • By BARRY WILNER (AP Pro Football Writer)

NEW YORK (AP) -- With a public hearing looming and the threat of owners and league officials facing depositions, the NFL settled collusion cases brought by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid.

The league, about to celebrate its 100th season, faced criticism from all sides thanks to the protest movement started by Kaepernick. Many Kaepernick supporters wanted to see him back on the field, while other fans said they wouldn't watch if the league allowed players to protest during the national anthem.

The league and Kaepernick's lawyer sent out statements Friday saying that ''the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances'' and that a confidentiality agreement would prevent either side from commenting further.

It remains unclear if the NFL admitted wrongdoing or how much money Reid, Kaepernick or others may have received. Considering the lost salary both players claimed and legal costs, the settlement could have climbed into the tens of millions of dollars.

''For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,'' the league 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's lawyer Mark Geragos tweeted a similar statement .

The protests slowed down this season, as the NFL made contributions to organizations chosen by players and promised more attention to social justice issues. But the controversy reignited every time there was a development in the case.

A hearing was scheduled for later this month.

Kaepernick and Reid filed collusion grievances against the league, saying they were blacklisted because of protests during the national anthem at games. Kaepernick has not played in the league since 2016, while Reid missed three games last season before signing with Carolina. Kaepernick contended the owners violated their collective bargaining agreement with players by conspiring to keep him off teams.

While the players seemed intent on pursuing the cases, the league might not have been eager for those deposed - including Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners and league executives - to appear. Still, for the players to prove collusion is a mighty challenge because, according to the 2011 labor agreement between the union and league, a ''club, its employees or agents'' must have ''entered into an agreement'' to limit contract offers.

Kaepernick filed his grievance in August 2017. Arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank sent it to trial, denying the league's request to throw out the former 49ers quarterback's claims. Burbank's decision meant there was enough evidence of collusion to keep the grievances going.

A wave of protests by NFL players began in 2016 after Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality and racial inequality. The protests grew into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during ''The Star-Spangled Banner.''

Safety Reid recently re-signed with the Panthers for three years and more than $22 million. He noted then that he got ''fair market value'' after making just $1.69 million last season from the Panthers.

''If anything, it proves my point from last year,'' Reid said. ''I didn't sign until the (fourth) week and did for almost the league minimum. And this year I signed a more substantial contract. And nothing has changed. I'm still the same player.''

Officials with the players union said Friday afternoon that they had just learned of the settlement and had no details.

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

Kaepernick has one strong supporter in Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

''I think it's a win for Colin,'' Abdul-Jabbar said. ''I think he wants to go back and start playing again. I think that's what he wants. He had a statement that he had to make through his demonstrations, but he's a quarterback and I think he should be working.''


AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds contributed.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL


More Related News

Low settlement makes it far less likely Kaepernick ever plays in NFL again
Low settlement makes it far less likely Kaepernick ever plays in NFL again

The moment that attorney Mark Geragos said Colin Kaepernick could still play in the NFL even after settling his collusion grievance -- and predicted that someone soon would "do the right thing" and sign him -- I started to think it would never happen. The moment Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street

Mueller report proves collusion between Clinton, Comey and Obama: Diamond & Silk
Mueller report proves collusion between Clinton, Comey and Obama: Diamond & Silk

Social media stars Diamond & Silk say that everyone that orchestrated the Special Counsel Robert Mueller report should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

NFL Settlement With Colin Kaepernick On Collusion May Be Less Than $10M - Report
NFL Settlement With Colin Kaepernick On Collusion May Be Less Than $10M - Report

The settlement amount that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and ex-teammate Eric Reid reaped from their collusion lawsuit against the National Football League may be far less than previously reported. The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources familiar with the settlement

Kaepernick got under $10m in NFL collusion deal: report
Kaepernick got under $10m in NFL collusion deal: report

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who led kneeling protests during NFL games, and ex-teammate Eric Reid will receive less than $10 million (8.8m euros, £7.6m) after settling collusion lawsuits against the league, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Kaepernick's 2016 kneeling protest

Trent Richardson hopes NFL is noticing his AAF play
Trent Richardson hopes NFL is noticing his AAF play

When Trent Richardson got traded by the team that drafted him, then cut by the team that traded for him, then cut by two more teams that signed him before even getting on the field for them, it appeared his NFL career was over. He's hoping to prove that's not the case. Richardson, who is [more

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Football

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.