Whether you’re an avid fan or not of the NFL, you were probably aware of the recent Super Bowl which saw the New England Patriots triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in what was the lowest scoring final in the competition’s history. And whilst it might not have been the breathtaking spectacle that rocks world news that American’s so claim it to be, the sport still managed to send reverberations across the globe. In a dispute which has transcended from football into pivotal cultural debates, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have finally settled their joint collusion grievance with the NFL. Kaepernick, who hasn’t played since the end of the 2016 season, initially sat through the national anthem of a pre-season game before switching to taking a knee, which has since become an iconic metaphor for players to show their displeasure at the oppression which remains rife within the sport. As a result, Kaepernick and Reid found themselves being left unchosen by teams, despite the fact Kaepernick was regarded as one of the top Quarterbacks available.
Attorney Mark Geragos released a statement last week stating, “For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representativeness 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”.
Kaepernick, at the start of his protests was signed with the San Francisco 49ers, before cutting his contract in March 2017 and failed to get signed by any of the other clubs in the league. In October 2017, the 31-year-old filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement, as he suggested collusion from the teams who refused to sign him to an NFL contract. This led to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and a number of others including NFL executives to turn over their emails and cellphone records in regard to the collusion against Kaepernick.
How can a case so blatantly unjust take such time to rectify? Well the NFL have begun to form a rather shady image of themselves, with the latest Super Bowl champions being so closely affiliated with President Trump. On top of this, Eric Reid recently brought to light the arbritrarily high amount of drug tests he was forced to take, after being tested 7 times in a season. Thus it will come to no surprise that challenging the league administration on ethical issues is a path difficult to navigate. For the case to have any substantial credit, there was a burden of proof which fell upon Kaepernick and Reid, to show the collusion that they accused the league of. The CBA makes evident that mere unemployment is not sufficient as evidence, and rather the two men would have to prove that a club had “entered into an agreement” to restrict or limit a player’s opportunities.
Sports icons across the globe have come out to support the star in an attempt to give him a chance at having his career back, with Lebron James recently stating “feel what he was talking about, nobody wanted to listen to. Nobody ever really wanted to actually understand where he was coming from”. Kaepernick himself hasn’t spoken much on the topic of returning to football, but it’s thought that being at such a young age for a quarterback, that he should return to the sport.