By Patrick Freeman
BUFFALO, NY: The Mighty O’Ba’s Sports Report
Settlement reached in the collusion case of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick.
This past Friday, the Internet was abuzz with the announcement that a settlement had been reached involving Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick.
Upon hearing this declaration, I noticed the misinformed began characterizing this settlement as though Kaepernick had sold out for the money. Further, it was said that this activist hero took the NFL hush money and forgot about the movement in which he brought so much attention.
Please stop the misinformation train that social media has become for some of you; a deliberate misinformation process to draw attention to your own self-imposed issues.
The fact of the matter; Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick started their protests of kneeling during the 2016 season and were joined by several other players around the league. After the 2016 season, the San Francisco 49ers cleaned house and hired John Lynch as the new General Manager, who then hired Kyle Shanahan as the new head coach.
This made the third head coaching change in three years, so Colin Kaepernick exercised his right to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. During the offseason of 2017, Kaepernick ranked just about at the top of all free agent quarterback boards but received very little interest around the league.
What interest he did receive was insulting based on his body of work in the NFL. Soon, it became obvious that possibly during the private owners’ meetings it had been discussed not to sign Kaepernick to any team. This occurred despite witnessing some of the worse quarterback play in the league in the Super Bowl era.
According to SBNation, Kaepernick filed a collusion case against the NFL in
November of 2017. In November of 2017, a Players’ Coalition entered discussions with the owners, and most players had agreed they would continue to protest. Later during the discussions, this Coalition, headed by Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin, had agreed in principle to accept an offer made by an NFL committee headed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to fund players in activist projects to the amount of $90 million dollars if approved by the NFL owners at their Spring meetings, and thus ending the bulk of National Anthem protests.
Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers and Michael Thomas of the Miami Dolphins withdrew from the Players’ Coalition shortly after, citing differences with Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin. These talks were done without Colin Kaepernick’s participation.
Reid had one more year on his contract in San Francisco in 2017 and continued to kneel, but was set to become the number one rated safety in free agency. Most highly rated free agents are signed or have deals in place before the free agency period begins.
Well not in the case of Eric Reid, who despite being the best available player at his position remained unsigned. So, in May of 2018, Eric Reid joined Colin Kaepernick in bringing the case for collusion vs the NFL.
Reid, a Pro Bowl safety, was only offered a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers in October of 2018. The NFLPA, which has been highly criticized for under-representing the interest of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick, later offered support to the players but were not the lead legal representation of these players in this case.
Both were represented by famed attorney Mark Geragos who has represented Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, and Winona Ryder during his career. The case was announced as settled on February 15, 2019, involving these two athletes who were denied employment opportunity in the NFL based on unknown discovery a settlement was reached in which all parties agreed to keep confidential. #FACTS
Editor’s Note: Patrick Freeman is the Sports Director for WUFO 1080 AM and 96.5 Power FM in Buffalo, New York.