Media reactions to Friday's settlement by the NFL on the collusion suit brought by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are pouring in. The former NFL player Kaepernick and the current player Reid are expected to reap a windfall in exchange for ending their attempt to prove the league owners colluded with one another to keep them out of the NFL. The most outrageous reaction came from SB Nation's Harry Lyles Jr., who saw a racist element in the settlement that other media missed.:
"Paying to keep people quiet and shove things under the rug has been a textbook wealthy white man move for years. NFL owners will likely sleep just fine after doling out a few million dollars — divvied up among 32 teams — to Reid and Kaepernick. But the settlement is still significant. For NFL owners to take the loss and run suggests our suspicions about the jig were right all along."
Lyles also writes that Kaepernick "shouldn’t have had to lose his job over standing up for the oppressed. Frustration and anger still lingers because of the way he was seemingly frozen out of the NFL for insisting that the world be a better place." Actually Kaepernick severed his contract with San Francisco after the 2016 season. "It was arguably the biggest win that Kaepernick and Reid could have possibly gotten out of the lawsuit," Lyles added, suggesting the two players who infuriated Americans for kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner may have had a case.
Reliable Kaepernick backer Jason Reid, writer for The Undefeated, says, "Colin Kaepernick won. Period.":
"Make no mistake: Colin Kaepernick won. Facing the most formidable foe of his career, Kaepernick stood his ground — and the NFL backed down. ... Kaepernick’s victory is as clear as his talent as a quarterback. The NFL finally admitted as much, ending its lame arguments about why Kaepernick remains unsigned after last playing for San Francisco in 2016. That was the year Kaepernick sat and then kneeled to draw attention to police brutality and systemic oppression. Reid was the first player to kneel alongside him."
Reid cited Stanford Law School professor William B. Gould IV, an expert in labor law who said Kaepernick "certainly comes out of this a winner.” Reid says settling is a "horrible look for (NFL Commissioner Roger) Goodell and the billionaires whom he serves. ... "
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler writes, "It appears Colin Kaepernick brought NFL to its knees." This lawsuit was David vs. Goliath. From the outside, it looks like Goliath blinked." Addressing the possibility of Kaepernick playing in the NFL again, he predicts most teams will pass on Kaepernick, "either out of distaste (on the part of the owner and/or coach) for his politics, or out of fear of widespread fan anger. Or both." He does not think this drama has ended yet either.
NBC News' Dennis Romero alluded to President Donald Trump's public opposition to kneeling during the anthem, stating: "The resolution could end an ugly chapter for the league, which had been rocked by presidential meddling, boycotts and lower television ratings in recent seasons."
Big-time lefty Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation, called the kneeling of Reid and Kaepernick "iconic," and said many of their supporters "wanted them to get all of this in open court so the NFL’s racism could be laid out for the world to see. But honestly, in a league that has colluded against Kaepernick for over a year and a league that has a team (the Washington Redskins) named after a racial slur, if you need open court to show that this is a league rife with a racism problem, then you’re just not paying attention."
Jason Reid, former NFL player Larry Johnson and Fox Sports 1 Speak For Yourself co-host Marcellus Wiley, each raised the specter of Reid and Kaepernick selling out their principles to glad-hand big money from the NFL. Jason Reid writes:
"Of course, while Kaepernick’s fans will celebrate his victory, there’s also an inconvenient truth that must be addressed. Reid has publicly bashed Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, the co-founders of the Players Coalition, for accepting money from the NFL to fund social justice work. Now, Reid and Kaepernick are likely taking the NFL’s cash as well. On its face, that’s difficult to reconcile."
Wiley tweeted, "If Eric Reid called (the Philadelphia Eagles') Malcolm Jenkins a sellout for taking 100 Million from the NFL for the CAUSE (the Players Coalition for social justice). I wonder what Eric thinks of him & Kaepernick taking a settlement from the same NFL w/o exposing any NFL wrongdoings? I guess we’ll never know...Damn NDA (Non-Disclosure Agrement)!"
"Ex-NFL star Larry Johnson just WENT OFF on Colin Kaepernick — saying a true civil rights leader like MLK would have fought the NFL to the bitter end instead of taking settlement money from the 'oppressor.'
"The former All Pro running back is fuming — saying Kaepernick's whole movement against the NFL was a 'waste of time' because the settlement deal he signed 'corrupted and diluted his message.'
Johnson 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."
On a couple humorous notes, NBA superstar LeBron James told reporters: “I stand with Kaep. I kneel with Kaep… I’m happy he won his suit. I hope he got a hell of a lot of money to set his family up for a long time." However it does not appear that James has ever kneeled during the playing of the national anthem. He said last May he would stand for the national anthem. And The Toronto Sun's John Kryk got a little carried away with SJW worship when he wrote Kaepernick's likeness may end up on a coin, real or commemorative.