KAEPERNICK OVERCOMES MEDIA-ASSIGNED MARTYRDOM
On Friday, Februrary 15, 2019, news of a settlement between Colin Kaepernick and the NFL came down via (identical) public statements from the NFL and Kaepernick camps – with the latter led by attorney Mark Geragos.
The likely extraordinary – though justified – financial windfall Kaepernick realized by the aforementioned resolution startled the vast majority of sports media, which before last Friday had portrayed the (now-acknowledged) blackballed ex-NFLer as, at best, a misguided martyr while all but absolving the NFL for its obvious (now-acknowledged) misconduct. (If the latter was mentioned at all.)
Since Friday, those same publicly-disseminated opinionmakers have revised their collective assessment of Kaepernick, whom they now opine was, “only in it for the money.”
Such criticism is ironic when one firstly considers that most if not all of the media bagging on Kaepernick is doing so for the first time in over a year, having stopped commenting on the situation in its entirety in order to save their own jobs – thanks to an order to stand down on the supposedly incendiary political topic from their bosses.
Equally rich is the idea that Kaepernick – who has never publicly professed a desire to serve out his life as a civil rights leader and has continually shut out sports media publicity from well before the time he first took formal action against the NFL – took up the grievance for any other reason than to recoup lost wages and/or provide a path to reinstatement as an NFL player.
His attorney, Mark Geragos, said as much when describing the Kaepernick case on CNN last Saturday:
The difference between the criminal system where you’re fighting over somebody’s Liberty and the civil justice system which is anything that’s not criminal is all you’re doing is fighting over money – that’s what civil justice is.
So whether you file in a court, you go to arbitration, you go to a mediation or in this case a collective bargaining agreement, all an arbitrator, all a judge, and ultimately if you go to court, all a jury can do is just shift money around.
That’s what we do.
Our (civil) justice system is based on money.
Also notable was Geragos’ insistence during the same CNN appearance that Kaepernick had every intention of playing again, with the attorney going so far as to speculate which specific NFL team may sign his client:
He absolutely wants to play.
He wants to compete at the highest level.
This is a competitive young man.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember, he’s only 31 years old. This is not someone who is over the hill this is someone who is in his prime.
You get smarter at that position (quarterback) and he’s wise beyond his years.
To me, to my somewhat trained eye he looks like he’s ready to play.
I’m gonna make a bold prediction although I’ve been wrong once before on this, I’m gonna make a bold prediction that one of three teams picks him up.
The natural would be if Cam Newton is out, the natural place to be is to play with Eric [Reid] in Carolina.
I think you’re going to see that within the next two weeks somebody is going to step and do the right thing.
Besides the Panthers it would not surprise me if (New England Patriots owner) Bob Kraft makes a move.
That would not surprise me.
The NFL’s silent capitulation has now justifiably provided Kaepernick with backpay owed him and – thanks to the confidential nature of the settlement – the necessary pretense for an NFL team to sign him in the future.
It also begins the process of vanquishing a marytrdom projected upon him by an uninformed media that never actually existed.
Silence is, indeed, golden.