Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have settled their collusion lawsuit against the NFL. Now what?
Kaepernick and Reid, who both had taken a knee during the national anthem before games in 2016 as a way to protest systematic racism, had filed grievances against the league for allegedly colluding against them to keep them from playing. On Friday, it was announced that the two had come to an agreement with the league, though the terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.
But even without the settlement details, it’s plain that Kaepernick came out on top. We all knew Kap was being “locked out” and that he was gaining iconic status because had not been able to sign with any team since he left the San Francisco 49ers after the 2016 season.
Kaepernick, 31, has now been off the field for more than two seasons, but has remained a key civil rights figure. Nike tailored a marketing campaign around him, coining the phrase: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The Kaepernick case has been followed closely by the nation’s Blacks since the quarterback immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deem are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
Through it all, he has become a worldwide symbol for the aggrieved. In 2018, Amnesty International awarded Kaepernick with their Ambassador of Conscience award.
And with this “David vs. Goliath”-esque triumph over the NFL and its 32 wealthy team owners, he’ll certainly get wealthier.
Several entertainers reportedly declined to perform at the Super Bowl to show solidarity with Kap, and basketball great LeBron James voiced his support for Kaepernick after the settlement with the NFL was announced.
Will Kaepernick ever play in the NFL again? Hard to say, but with his high-profile defeat of the mighty league and subsequent windfall again reigniting discussions about social and racial inequality, he’s already won — and so have we.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.