Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and defensive back Eric Reid will reportedly receive less than $10 million in the grievance settlement with the NFL, according to the Wall Street Journal. Originally filed in 2017 by Kaepernick, the two alleged that the NFL’s 32 teams colluded to keep them off the field for their part in leading the protests during the national anthem.
“The confidential agreement was widely celebrated as a victory for the players. But the settlement is far less than the tens of millions of dollars Mr. Kaepernick, especially, would have likely been owed if his grievance had prevailed. It couldn’t be determined how the payment is divided between the players and how much they will net after legal fees.”
Kaepernick started and became the face of a movement that spread through the NFL that saw players kneeling and holding up a fist during the national anthem to bring attention to the systemic racial inequalities and police brutality that people of color endure at disproportionate rates. The movement was politicized—often by the country’s highest elected official—and touted as unpatriotic and anti-veteran.
The NFL and the players came to a settlement last month, and the details of the settlement had not been disclosed. Many saw the settlement as a huge win for both Kaepernick and Reid, but if they’re actually receiving less than $10 million, that’s only a ninth of what he would have been entitled to had he won the grievance.
Regardless of the terms, Kaepernick was and still is, the face of a movement that has put more power in the hands of the players and forced uncomfortable conversations in mixed company. His stance was admirable and the way he went about fighting for what he believed will be looked upon highly by historians.