Nike’s new ad featuring Colin Kaepernick courts controversy but it more than delivers on raising the profile of the athletic wear company. The company now has doubled down with a signature athletic wear line for the out-of-work quarterback.
Kaepernick also had good news on the legal front in accusing NFL owners of colluding to prevent him from working. The former 49ers quarterback claims he is being punished for instigating the movement of kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality, social injustice and general treatment of black men.
NFL owners had sought to have the case dismissed in arbitration, but the arbiter has deemed that the quarterback had a credible enough case for a full hearing. One of the best young quarterbacks in the league before the protest in 2016, Kaepernick saw his contract expire following the season despite taking his team to the Superbowl in his second season. The 49ers let him go and no other team subsequently offered him contract or wanted to see him work out for a possible contract. This is despite hiring several quarterbacks of lesser quality around the league.
Settle the case?
Kaepernick is seeking damages amounting to multi-million contract he would have received if he was still playing football in the NFL. The arbiter will hear the case at the end of the year, which means the quarterback will continue to be part of the football season’s narrative, particularly if President Trump continues to weigh in.
Considering the billions of dollars involved in football, paying a football player’s contract to make the issue go away may be worth it, particularly if his grievance continues to build momentum. If Kaepernick wins the case, he would receive the money he would have gotten by playing as well as double that amount in damages.
Do owners fight in arbitration?
Kaepernick has been a divisive figure in some communities. With hundreds of millions given to owners in tax breaks and to build stadiums, the prevailing political winds as well as many owners friendship with the president might make a fight in the owners’ best interests.
Sports figures like other employees
The same kind of legal complications involving this case can play out with employees in a company here in Atlanta or elsewhere. Whether it is resolved through arbitration or litigation, it is a long and drawn out process that demands an attorney with knowledge and experience handling such matters.