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Colin Kaepernick has settled his complaint, Jay-Z only takes the money



Colin Kaepernick (Photo by Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

There seems to be some confusion about the difference between Colin Kaepernick and the National Football League before a referee can decide on merit. Allow the NFL to paint in Hovaface for some Super Bowl money. The mis-characterization seems to be: Kaep "has taken the money" and Jay-Z has taken the money, so it's all the same and now we get ready for a few soles !!!

Here is the wide receiver, Dez Bryant, stumbling into confusion:

You often see this by people who do not understand how to do that Legal system works. In common usage, "settlement" means "weakness." They "settle" when they can not get what they really want. They "settle" when someone calls their price. You "settle" when you drop to 4th and 1st if you lose late in the game (which, frankly, is pathetic). Winning winners, settling losers.

Thinking like that is not Dez's fault. He went to school to learn how to catch soccer balls. I went to school to learn how to turn the definition of a "catch" into a totally absurd obfuscation. I have you, Mr. Bryant.

Put simply, the colloquial understanding of "settlement" has no place in the law. Many aspects of the legal system specifically aim to promote litigation. A legal agreement is not an admission of defeat, it is not a "sell-out". It's just the result that the system should produce. And none of these designs work as well as "forced arbitration." Forced arbitration is all about getting people to clear their grievances before a judge takes an "all or nothing" right. Let's start with the obvious: Kaepernick accused all 32 NFL teams of the agreement to keep him out of the league. However, in order to "sue" the NFL for collusion, Kaepernick was only able to file a complaint and submit to arbitration. This was the only process available as it is set out in the NFL Collective Agreement with the NFL Players Association. A footballer can not simply sue the NFL in a civil court without going through the process first. This is how the law works. Kaepernick did not give up his right to sue the NFL, the players' organization gave up this right for him and there was nothing he could reasonably do about it.

Kaepernick filed his complaint under the terms of the NFL's collective agreement, and that meant his case would be heard by an arbitrator. Imagine a referee like a man whose only tool is a hammer. If you have exposed nails, it will work. But if you have another problem, you may want to fix it yourself before the guy shows up with a hammer and starts repelling things.

Kaepernick and his attorney team seem to have made it through the arbitration process Bring enough evidence to support their claim that the NFL has colluded against him. We do not know what this evidence was because arbitration is a secret. Again, this is the legal system that favors a process in which the parties can agree without "confessing" a fault, as opposed to a process in which the parties must defend painful evidence.

Understand that collusion is notoriously hard to prove. "How can you prove why something did not happen? It's almost like trying to prove a negative. Nevertheless, Kaepernick and his team have made it. The NFL Collective Agreement is notoriously crappy for the players. Kaepernick and his colleague Ed Reid filed suit in October 2017. In August 2018, the court rejected the NFL's motion for a summary judgment. That was crucial. This meant that, according to the arbitrator, Kaepernick and Reid had sufficiently stated that it could come to an agreement that his team of lawyers could continue to gather evidence and to bring forward their arguments. The survival of the request for summary assessment was a great victory for the players.

That's why the NFL went into billing mode. A decision in favor of the players would have given Kaepernick and Reid triple compensation: that's all they deserve, three times. In addition, the referee's decision would probably have included damaging details about the NFL's attempts to blackbat Kaepernick. Perhaps complicated owners were asked to sell their teams. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could have been easily dismissed for allowing such a public relations disaster on his watch.

OR … the players could not have got anything. In order to promote the settlement, the referee in this case was only authorized to govern entirely on the side of the players or entirely on the side of the owners. In between there were none. There was no "moderation". Either Kaep and Reid get everything they want, or they get nothing.

Except that Kaepernick and Reid, even if they had won, would not have got everything what they wanted . What they wanted was to play football. These men have extremely short time in which they are physically able to. Reid signed during the trial, but also tried to get a new, lucrative contract. Kaepernick just wants a damn rehearsal. Even though they won their arbitration and "proved" that the NFL colluded against them, the court was not allowed to force the NFL to sign it. All the referee could do, all he could ever do was punish the NFL for their possible collusion. This punishment was always distributed in dollars and cents, not in right and wrong.

Therefore, players accepted the settlement offer as soon as the NFL made a reasonable bid. They had brought their case as far as possible without being subject to the random wheel of an all-or-nothing judgment. Even in defeat, the NFL would not have admitted "wrongdoing". She would not have been forced to retake Kaepernick or allow other players to protest or kneel for social justice. Kaepernick would only have paid X million dollars instead of Y millions of dollars. The bigger point that the NFL blotted Kaep had to be proven before the court of public opinion when the NFL lost its application for dismissal. To win the heart and mind of a referee is known to be a kind of arbitrary measure in a system in which the referee intimidates the parties in settlement negotiations in the first place.

Every lawyer on the planet would have advised Kaepernick to make the comparison. Only a very bad customer would ignore this advice.

Now that you understand what Kaepernick did and why, we turn to Shawn Corey Carter. From Vox:

On August 13, the NFL announced that it is partnering with Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded and run by rapper and mogul Jay-Z. The deal, which has been reported to have been running for several months, means that Roc Nation will now assist in "advising on the selection of artists for key NFL appearances like the Super Bowl."

While the deal effectively gives Jay-Z an important role In building one of the country's most watched concerts, there is also a partnership for social justice between the rapper and the NFL. Roc Nation, adds the NFL, will play an important role in the NFL's recently launched "Inspire Change" initiative, a collaboration between the NFL and the Players Coalition, a group of NFL players committed to promoting social and racial justice , The initiative focuses in particular on three causes: "education and economic progress; Police and community relations; and criminal law reform. "

Both parties say the agreement is an important step forward in demonstrating the NFL's strong commitment to supporting marginalized groups. "With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and the ability to bring about nationwide change," Jay-Z said in a statement this week. "This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America."

A comparison of Kaepernick's activities with those of Jay-Z is a clear BS. Kaepernick brought the NFL to court, as permitted by law, to point out their unfair labor practices against blacks. Jay-Z makes a deal to provide the NFL with more moonlighting. Kaepernick and Reid brought the NFL to the bank to punish their abuse. Jay-Z is bankrupting the "social consciousness" that Kaepernick shamed the NFL. Kaepernick decided to avoid a time-consuming lawsuit that would have earned him zero dollars for the ruins of his NFL career. Jay-Z made a deal that would allow him, but not Kaepernick, to capitalize on the wreckage of Kaepernick's NFL career. Kaepernick did the right thing by following all the rules to demand accountability for the actions of the NFL. Jay-Z does the wrong thing to help the NFL avoid responsibility.

I turned to Kaepernick's lawyer Mark Geragos, who has done the hard legal work of actually combating the NFL for Kaepernick, which Jay-Z is obviously no longer interested in – for his thoughts on the Jay Z deal. He simply said, "That was cold-blooded."


Elie Mystal is the executive editor of Above the Law and an employee of The Nation. It can be accessed on @ElieNYC on Twitter or at [email protected] He will resist.


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