A saga two years in the making has finally concluded. The NFL and Colin Kaepernick/Eric Reid team settled an estimated 50 million dollar deal that has ended discussions between the two. Kaepernick was seen sitting during the anthem back in August of 2016. He was protesting the racial injustice and criminal problems the United States has been facing for years. Why should Kaepernick be labeled as victorious in this case? Well, Kaepernick did what he set out to do; raise attention to the racial violence, specifically regarding the police force and African Americans, in the United States.
Kaepernick Wins NFL Protest Saga
Although few details were released, the estimated worth of this settlement deal is around 50 million and will theoretically end the debate between the two sides. Colin Kaepernick first filed a grievance in October 2017 claiming collusion in the NFL against signing him to a team. Although no one truly knows, there are many assumptions that can be made as to why Kap and teammate Eric Reid were “paid off”. I have my opinions and I’m sure you have yours as well. I’ve used the past cases in the NFL to formulate my opinion.
What does the Settlement Really Mean?
At first glance, many will see this as a cop-out by Kaepernick. His ultimate goal was to prove collusion against him by way of the NFL. Did he do that? Not at first glance. But let’s review the previous cases the NFL has dealt with. Tom Brady was suspended for his “involvement” in the deflation of footballs during the 2014-15 AFC Championship game. Did they have concrete evidence? No, but what they did have was the ability to take advantage of Brady and his teams lack of “high-ground” if you will. The NFL was out to get Brady from the beginning, and it was obvious all Brady could do was pray and wait for the verdict. What this case reveals is that if the NFL had any chance of winning this case, they would’ve done it.
Whether it be text messages from owners/players or other evidence, Kaepernick and his team had some dirt on the NFL. Kaepernick was obviously out numbered in regards to the number of owners that disagreed with his protest. And although he did have the support of many players, overall he was ridiculed throughout the league for the past two years. The biggest sports league in the world would not simply hand over millions of dollars for no reason. They did it to save their reputation and part of me wishes they didn’t give him the settlement so we could see what they were hiding.
Colin Kaepernick Started a Movement
Agree with his decision or not, it’s obvious that his protest sparked a widespread movement. Players around the NFL followed his protest, including Marshawn Lynch, teammate Eric Reid, Myles Garrett, and many more. Not only did this move through the NFL, but his protest also influenced the NHL, NBA, and college/high school players around the country to do the same. In addition to athletes following in his footsteps, many pop culture personal supported him as well. Rapper Meek Mill referenced Kaepernick in may of his songs and also accompanied Kap in donating 10k to a youth service organization in Philadelphia. Many other celebrities also support his movement.
Last Word/Future for Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick (31) has still yet to find a job in the NFL. But rumors have swirlled about two teams being interested in him; the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. Both teams would use Kap as a back up, but both could also use him as a starter in the future. For the Panthers, if a deal is struck, it would be an insurance plan for them in case of a set-back/injury in regards to starting QB Cam Newton. For the Patriots, it would mean a future after Brady retires. Now for that to work, Brady would have to be gone within the next two or so years before Kaepernick gets too old. I doubt anything immediate will come of it, but it’s nice to see some movement in the Kaepernick market.
After two years this saga has finally ended in victory for Kaepernick. This victory means so much more than it looks at first glance, as it sent shockwaves around the country and sparked a movement unlike no other. Is this the end of Kaepernick? I would love to be wrong, but I don’t think we will ever see him the NFL again. However, he has left a permanent footprint both in the NFL and in the real world. That is for sure.
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