MX23RW : Friday, March 22 02:41:48

Colin Kaepernick settles lawsuit with the NFL

Colin Kaepernick settles lawsuit with the NFL
© Reuters
Kaepernick and Eric Reid had alleged that team owners were colluding to prevent them from being signed in response to their kneeling protest.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have settled their collusion lawsuits against the NFL.

The former San Francisco 49ers pair alleged in 2017 that team owners were colluding to prevent them from being signed in response to their kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality.

A statement issued by Kaepernick's lawyers, as well as on nfl.com, read: "For the past several months, counsel for Mr Kaepernick and Mr Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. 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."

Quarterback Kaepernick, 31, began his protests in the 2016 pre-season, initially remaining on the team bench during the anthem before refining his approach and kneeling on the sideline, where he was soon joined by then team-mate Reid.

Players throughout the league joined in with the protests during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, with the movement intensifying after President Donald Trump called for protesting players to be "fired" and referred to them as "sons of b******".

Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Kaepernick left the 49ers at the end of 2016 and has not played in the NFL since. Reid went unsigned in free agency ahead of the 2018 season, but was later snapped up by the Carolina Panthers, where he has since earned a three-year contract extension.

The NFL Players' Association welcomed the resolution of the grievances.

An NFLPA statement read: "We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel.

"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.

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

Kaepernick spent six seasons with San Francisco, in which he threw for over 13,500 yards and 79 touchdowns including the play-offs and led the team to Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 campaign.

While he has been unable to find another NFL team, and could struggle again this season with few openings available for the free-agent quarterbacks around the league, he has been recognised with honours including GQ Citizen of the Year and Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in 2017 and Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award and Harvard University's WEB Du Bois medal the following year.


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