For months, the National Football League and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick were entrenched in a legal battle. Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, sued the NFL claiming that team owners colluded to keep him out of a job. Finally, the league settled with Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid — currently with the Carolina Panthers — to end the saga.
All that remained was to find out what Kaepernick’s national anthem protests that kept him from making an NFL paycheck really amounted to. At first, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman suggested Kaepernick was going to make between $60 and $80 million dollars in the settlement. According to new information, that’s not even close to what he’ll be getting.
Despite a confidentiality agreement keeping the details quiet at first, many saw the settlement as a win for the NFL players, especially when a number like $80 million was thrown around. With this latest news that the total is much lower, it’ll be a surprise if Kaepernick keeps half his money after court costs and legal fees are paid.
According to people briefed on the judge’s decision, Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal reported that both Kaepernick and Reid will receive less than $10 million to settle their collusion grievances.
The national anthem protests against police brutality and racial injustice caused a league-wide movement among NFL players that hurt the league for nearly two years. Many NFL fans turned away from the league, citing the players’ disrespect for the flag and the United States military. Criticism rose all the way to the Oval Office where President Donald Trump directly opposed the protests.
Trump even directed Vice President Mike Pence to leave an Indianapolis Colts game following the anthem to make a statement of their own.
Kaepernick is still a free agent and unsigned, but if there was ever a time to make one final run at professional football, it would be the upcoming 2019 season. Kaepernick’s agent Mark Geragos hinted that he could potentially sign with a team last year, but that never happened.
If Kaepernick doesn’t get another NFL job, was this whole collusion case really worth it?