Colin Kaepernick's lawyers reportedly had evidence that would have been 'embarrassing' for the NFL

  • Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid settled their collusion case against the NFL before it went to trial.
  • The settlements included confidentiality agreements for all sides.
  • It is unclear why the sides chose to settle, but two reports say the lawyers for Kaepernick and Reid had “embarrassing” evidence against the NFL that likely would have come out during the trial.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have settled their collusion case against the NFL.


Read more:
Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid reach settlement with NFL in collusion case

One of the biggest questions now is: Why did both sides decide to settle?

There was no announcement about settlement details. A joint statement released by the NFL on Friday said that all sides signed confidentiality agreements and that “there will be no further comment by any party.”

For Kaepernick, the settlement gives the appearance of a win as the NFL seemingly was unwilling to take their chances in a court case. It was also likely a huge payday as early speculation from NFL teams is that the league will pay Kaepernick $US60-80 million.

Read more: NFL officials are reportedly speculating Colin Kaepernick will be paid as much as $US80 million in collusion-case settlement

It is less clear why the NFL was willing to settle the case.

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle suggested that the NFL may have been concerned about “very embarrassing” evidence that had been discovered by the other side.

“Early on in the lawsuit, I was hearing from sources that if the case ever went to trial, there were pieces of evidence that would be ‘very embarrassing’ to the league,” Ostler wrote.

This was backed up by NFL insider, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report.

“I had also heard [about the evidence] (pre-settlement),”Freeman wrote. “The Kaepernick side had obtained massively embarrassing information to the league during discovery process.”

Colin KaepernickThearon W. Henderson/GettyEric Reid (35) and Colin Kaepernick (7) as teammates with the San Francisco 49ers.

This is important because as Ostler noted, the NFL had lots of incentives to take the case to court and win.

“If the league thought it could beat the collusion lawsuit, it seems highly unlikely it would have settled. The league would have loved to go to court and win this one, especially in light of recent negative stories,” Ostler wrote, later adding: “Another major incentive for the league to win the suit, rather than settle: A majority of the league’s players – and virtually all of the protesters – are black. The NFL, had it won the suit, could have proved that it did not blackball Kaepernick for the crime of crusading for social and racial justice.”

Ostler did not have details on what the evidence was and speculated it could have been something as simple as “careless emails exchanged between team owners.”

We may never know what the evidence was, but the NFL appears to have decided it was better for the entire case to go away than to risk what might have happened during a trial.

Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, and Reid, now a safety for the Carolina Panthers, had accused the NFL of colluding to keep them off teams because they kneeled during the national anthem before games to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.