Unexpectedly, Colin Kaepernick officially ended his collusion lawsuit against the NFL today. The former NFL quarterback has withdrawn his collusion complaint against the league and will take no further action in his case. Kaepernick had alleged the NFL owners conspired to keep him out after he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. The final hearing in his case against the NFL was set to take place this month. So, the timing of this withdrawal is a strong indication that the league reached a significant financial settlement with Kaepernick. People within his circle had previously spoken off the record that he would withdraw his lawsuit if the league compensated him significantly. The terms of the deal are subject to a “confidentiality agreement”.
The NFL and its owners would have been tremendously motivated to make this lawsuit go away if they believed it could be proven Kaepernick had in fact been blackballed. There is a provision within the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL and NFLPA that could have voided the deal if the league was found to have colluded against players. An immediate work stoppage and a legal battle would have ensued that could have put the 2019 season and future of the NFL in jeopardy. This begs the question, how much money did it cost to make Kaepernick go away?
His protest against social justice and racial inequality issues started alone, but many other NFL players and athletes from all sports have picked up the torch. NIKE stated a campaign with Kaepernick as the spokesman.
Will Kaepernick Ever Play Again?
The end of this lawsuit likely marks the end of Kaepernick’s career. If a team was unwilling to sign him to prove he was not colluded against, then why would they sign him after they likely paid him to end the lawsuit? Commissioner Goodell said at the Super Bowl, “I think if a team decides that Colin Kaepernick or any other player can help their team win, that’s what they’ll do,” he added. “They want to win, and they make those decisions individually in the best interest of their club.”