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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.”

While he has been away from the playing field, Kaepernick has become an advocate for battling social and racial injustice. On Thursday, a person with knowledge of the conversations told the AP that Kaepernick turned down a chance to join the fledgling Alliance of American Football , seeking $20 million or more from the upstart league that pays its players $225,000 over three seasons.

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.”

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11 thoughts on “Kaepernick, Eric Reid Settle Collusion Grievances with NFL

  1. ted gravely on said:

    It ended because the NFL didn’t want this to be aired publicly. To settle in house as part of the CBA kept the NFL from being embarrassed; however, it also probably mean these men hit the lottery. Happy for Kaepernick and Reed. Never listen to King Coons like Ray Lewis and Jim Brown. They may stand for the stupid anthem – it doesn’t mean you support it. Get paid and use your money wisely.

  2. Congrats to Kaepernick for standing up to the phony NFL owners.You can beat women and still play but you can’t take a peaceful knee.The NFL owners never sent the whole football team out to the national anthem from 1925 to 2008.But no complaints from patriotic politicians or americans.The White Amish and Puritans have never stood for the anthem because it represents war.Never a complaint towards them by politicians.The writer of anthem was a notorious Bigot and slave owner who fought abolitionist.So i guess its not what you do its who’s doing it.particularly black people.

  3. To this day there are still un-informed (and obviously not that intelligent) people that don’t really understand what Kaepernick’s protest is about. And for all the men that claimed they were going to stop watching NFL Football……pleeez stop the BS. What else do (most) men do besides watch sports (and for the record I don’t have a problem with that)

  4. Someone will let the cat out the bag, the NFL knew they did not have a leg to stand on. They hurried and settled the case. Why would the NFL listen to trump in the first place, anyone with common sense can see how trump has screwed U.S. A. up.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      Exactly, why would anyone listen to a pathological liar, a traitor who has colluded
      with a foreign enemy of his own country. But that just goes to show that racist will always stick together especially to destroy someone black.

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