Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing the players.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” the two sides said in a statement Friday. “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, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, had filed a grievance against the league in October of 2017, alleging the NFL and its team owners colluded to keep him out of the game in response to his pre-game protests highlighting racial inequality in the U.S. Kaepernick kneeled during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and some other players began to protest in similar fashion. The protests became a major issue of debate among football fans,and President Donald Trump exacerbated tensions around the game with public remarks excoriating the players.
Kaepernick has not played with an NFL teams since his contract with the 49ers expired in March of 2017. Reid, also a former 49er, now plays with the Carolina Panthers, and had filed a separate grievance.
The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it supported the decision. “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,” the organization said. “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.”