Monday, February 18, 2019

NFL Settles with QB Kaepernick

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid reached a settlement with the NFL regarding their collusion grievance against the NFL. Both players were alleging league owners colluded to keep them out of the NFL. The decision to kneel during the national anthem made Kaepernick a divisive sports figure. Kaepernick either sat on the bench or kneeled during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before each game in protest for oppression of people of color and ongoing issues with police brutality. The last time Kaepernick played was in 2016 when he went 1-10 with the San Francisco 49ers. However, that litigation appears to be over and Kaepernick’s attorney said he still wants to play in the NFL. In a joint statement last week, the parties explained only that they had engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives and as a a result of those discussions, decided to resolve the pending grievances. Of course, the resolution of the matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement and so they state there will be no further comment by any party. Despite this, the media has continued to speculate on the settlement and in one report, Mike Freeman said his sources were speculating that the payout was in the $60-80 million range. Others, like Dan Patrick revealed that a source told him that the settlement could be as low as the $5 million range. Still others like Mike Florio, despite stating most settlements require the parties to keep the details of the deal quiet and confidential, wonders when the details will leak. He goes on to say the NFL’s 32 teams will know the amount, because they’ll each be paying a share and that it takes only one owner to get the number out, making it impossible for the league office to track down the leak. Only time will tell. See news coverage here-- and and and NFL statement--

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Venezuelan Mediation?

This week, Pope Francis reportedly turned down a mediation request from embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, indicating conditions aren't ripe for the Vatican to step in and help mediate in the country's dramatic political crisis. Italian newspapers said the socialist leader had written to Francis to ask the Pontiff's help in launching talks with the opposition leader and purported president, Juan Guaidó, whom many including the United States have recognized as legitimate interim president. Guaidó invoked a constitutional provision to assume the presidency three weeks ago, arguing that Maduro’s re-election was a sham. The Argentine-born Pope lamented in reply to Maduro that Venezuelan Bishops were frustrated in their efforts to help defuse political and social tensions in the country, where much of the population lacks adequate food and medicine in a brewing humanitarian crisis. His letter to Maduro indicated Francis felt an inadequate government response to the willingness by church officials to facilitate dialogue in Venezuela. The Pope said all intentions aimed at reconciliation were effectively thwarted since, despite various meetings, there was no follow-up with concrete gestures to implement agreed-upon measures. While Pope Francis favors dialogue, he says only when it places the common good over all other interests and when it is aimed at achieving unity and peace. Despite diplomatic language in the letter, Pope Francis maintains,"'Yes, I can be a mediator, but at my conditions.'" See full news report here--