The Guardian trolls the NFL:
Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer says his client still wants to play in the NFL, and believes he would fit in well at the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
On Friday, Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid settled a complaint of collusion against the NFL. Reid and Kaepernick claimed the league’s owners blackballed them because they had protested against social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. The terms of the agreement are confidential.
Kaepernick has not played in the league since he left the San Francisco 49ers at the end of the 2016 season. In an interview with CNN on Saturday his lawyer, Mark Geragos, said the 31-year-old “absolutely wants to play” and said Kaepernick continues to stay in shape and is game fit.
Geragos said the Carolina Panthers would be a “natural place” for Kaepernick. They signed Reid last season, and their starting quarterback, Cam Newton, will have shoulder surgery this offseason. There was no significant backlash from Panthers fans when they signed Reid, who was a teammate of Kaepernick at the 49ers.
“I think you’re going to see … within the next two weeks that somebody is going to step up and do the right thing, and you want me to predict who?” Geragos said. “Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft makes a move.”…
Not that I understand (American) football, either, but I seriously doubt Kaepernick will ever play on an NFL team again (assuming he actually wanted to do so, what with the CTE and the bodily trauma and all). NFL owners seem to have the power to punish lèse-majesté to a degree that Donald Trump can only covet, and Kaepernick’s offended their conception of ‘their’ players as dumb serfs to be treated the way they’d treat their prizewinning racehorses and pedigreed dogs, except it seems the ASPCA has more legal scope than the NFL Players Union.
But I think Jemele Hill’s take in the Atlantic is excellent — “Kaepernick Won. The NFL Lost”:
… The terms of the settlement, announced on Friday, were not disclosed. But it doesn’t matter how much money Kaepernick ultimately receives from the NFL; what matters is that he bested a league that has a long history of pummeling its opposition in court, especially players.
In a way, the NFL had no other choice. Last August, arbitrator Stephen Burbank rejected the NFL’s request to have the case dismissed. That meant he believed Kaepernick’s team had compiled enough receipts to present their case. With another hearing reportedly scheduled for next month, did the NFL really want to let Kaepernick’s legal team expose those receipts in court?…
That Kaepernick was the one to make the NFL eat crow is a special kind of karma. This is just punishment because the league incompetently handled the player protests, starting with Kaepernick’s, from the beginning. Had the league not been so heavy-handed in policing the protests, this issue likely would have abated sooner. Had the league ignored Trump instead of cowering to his bullying, appeasing Trump wouldn’t have become a priority. Had one league owner had the guts to sign Kaepernick, this collusion case would have been a nonstarter…
Though this legal battle with Kaepernick has been resolved, he isn’t going away either. The league will forever have to live with the fact that it was complicit in destroying someone’s career simply because he wished to bring attention to the injustices suffered by his people. If owners and Roger Goodell believe that they no longer will have to face questions about why Kaepernick isn’t in the league, they’re wrong. No matter what an arbitrator rules, how the NFL treated Kaepernick will always be the mistake they can never amend.