Kaepernick accused of 'selling out' as NFL collusion case settlement ‘could net him up to $80mn’

Kaepernick accused of 'selling out' as NFL collusion case settlement ‘could net him up to $80mn’
NFL outcast Colin Kaepernick has been accused of “selling out” after speculation he could be paid up to $80 million for settling his collusion complaint with the league.

On Friday, the NFL and attorneys for Kaepernick and former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid announced that the pair’s complaint over alleged collusion among league owners to keep them unsigned had been settled out of court.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr Kaepernick and Mr Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” a statement read.

“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.”

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No details of the agreement were provided, although NFL insider Mike Freeman said that, having spoken to NFL teams, there was speculation that Kaepernick could be in line to pocket between $60 million to $80 million.  

There were reports earlier in the week that Kaepernick, 31, would only withdraw his complaint should he receive a substantial amount from the league. 

Kaepernick began the controversial ‘take a knee’ protests in 2016 against racial injustice in the US that swept the league.

He has been without a team since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017, in the meantime becoming the face of a prominent Nike campaign.   

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Former teammate Reid, 27, who was the first player to join Kaepernick in the protests, became a free agent in March 2018 and was without a club until he joined the Carolina Panthers at the end of September.

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After the news that the pair had reached a settlement with the NFL instead of the case going to trial, some hailed it as a victory, with ESPN analyst and former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho claiming that Kaepernick had “clearly proved” he was in the right.  

Others said that Kaepernick had been deprived the right to “the prime years” of his career, and as such was deserving of any payout.

But others hit out at the quarterback-turned-social justice campaigner, accusing him of being a “sellout” for accepting the cash.

Former running back Larry Johnson said that Kaepernick had had the chance to “expose” the NFL, but had cut and run too early in the fight.

Speaking to TMZ, he said: "If your backdrop is going to be the African American civil rights presence that it brought from the '60s and you're going to use that for your own causes, you don't sell out. "

"You don't turn your message into a Nike hoodie.

"Now I don't know what activist ... Martin Luther King or Malcolm X ... I don't know what civil rights leader that you even saw or follow that made you even think that selling out to your oppressor or signing a deal with your oppressor was the way to go."

Fox Sports presenter Clay Travis, a well-known Kaepernick critic, claimed that “Colin Kaepernick was all about the money.”