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NFL settles collusion lawsuits with Kaepernick, Reid

The NFL and legal representatives for Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have announced the settlement of a complaint of collusion from the players, who claimed they were ostracised by the league’s owners in the wake of their high-profile protests during the pre-game playing of the national anthem.

Quarterback Kaepernick became the figurehead for the social justice movement within the NFL while playing for the San Francisco 49ers and has not figured in the NFL since 2016.

Kaepernick filed a grievance, which was due to be heard by an arbitrator in the coming weeks, in August 2017 claiming that his failure to find a job in the NFL was a result of collusion between owners owing to his role in the anthem protests.

Reid, a teammate of Kaepernick’s at the 49ers, filed a separate grievance in May 2018 after failing to find a team for the 2017 season. However, he was subsequently signed by the Carolina Panthers in September and last week agreed a three-year extension to his contract.

A joint statement issued by the NFL and the players’ attorneys read: “For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives 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.”

Commenting on the settlement, the NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) added: “We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel.

“We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them.

“We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”