NEW YORK (AFP) – Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protests sparking a firestorm of controversy, has reached a settlement with the NFL over his collusion grievance against the league, his attorneys’ said Friday.
But a confidentiality clause will keep details of the arrangement private, the deal being made ahead of a planned final arbitration hearing on the grievance that was to be heard later this month.
Kaepernick and former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid both filed a lawsuit against the NFL saying owners and officials colluded to keep them off NFL rosters for their decision to make a kneeling protest during the US anthem.
Reid signed a one-year deal as an injury replacement last season with the Carolina Panthers and on Thursday inked a new three-year contract with the same club but Kaepernick has been unemployed since opting out of his contract in March 2017, missing two full NFL campaigns.
Kaepernick, a 31-year-old signal caller who guided the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, had said he was only interested in a settlement if it meant a solid financial deal was reached.
But it could also mean that Kaepernick, who has signed a deal with Nike in the wake of being ignored by the NFL for two seasons, might yet return to the league.
NFL officials denied collusion claims by Kaepernick and Reid despite comments from US President Donald Trump that urged owners to fire any “son of a bitch’’ who kneeled during the anthem after many NFL players followed Kaepernick’s lead in 2017.