Take a look back at all of the events since Kaepernick took a knee in 2016.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
February 15, 2019

It's been two years since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem of a preseason game.

Since then, Kaepernick has become a polarizing figure and has gone from NFL quarterback to an outspoken advocate for social justice. 

Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL under the collective bargaining agreement in 2017.

In a stunning development on Friday, Kaepernick's lawyers Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas announced in a joint statement with the NFL that the grievance was settled, adding to a long timeline of events dating back to 2016.

Here is a look back at all of the events that led up to the settlement.

August 26, 2016: A photo is taken of Colin Kaepernick sitting on a bench while his 49ers teammates standing during the national anthem of an NFL preseason game against the Packers.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Sept. 1, 2016: Kaepernick continues his protest but decides to kneel rather than sit after speaking to U.S. Army veteran Nate Boyer. His 49ers teammate Eric Reid joined the protest. By mid-September, other NFL players join in on the protests by kneeling or raising their fists. Kaepernick gains support from other athletes across the country, including the entire Indiana Fever team, which knelt before the first game of the WNBA playoffs.

March 3, 2017: Kaepernick decides to opt out of his contract with the 49ers, who would have cut Kaepernick had he not made the move. Even though he is a free agent, Kaepernick goes unsigned during the offseason.

Sept. 22, 2017: President Donald Trump calls on NFL owners to fire players who won't stand for the national anthem. "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say: "Get that son of a b---- off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired," Trump made these comments he stood in front of a giant American flag at a campaign rally for Alabama senator Luther Strange.

Sept. 25, 2017: Teams from both the NFL and NBA respond to Trump's rhetoric. Several owners kneel or lock arms with players during the national anthem. 

Oct. 15, 2017: Kaepernick files a grievance against the NFL in which he accused owners of colluding by not signing him and keeping him out of the league.

Dec. 3, 2017: The ACLU honors Kaepernick by giving him the Courageous Advocate award. Kaepernick is later also named a finalist for Time's "Person of the Year."

May 2, 2018: Reid, who was cut by 49ers, files a collusion grievance against the NFL claiming he went unsigned during the offseason because of his protests alongside Kaepernick.

August 30, 2018: An arbitrator denies the NFL's request to dismiss Kaepernick's complaint, ruling in favor of Kaepernick and moving the case toward a hearing.

Sept. 3, 2018: Nike reveals its new advertising campaign featuring Kaepernick with the slogan, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."

Sept. 27, 2018: Reid signs a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. Reid finished the season with 50 solo tackles and an interception.

Feb. 11, 2019: Reid signs a three-year, $22 million agreement with the Panthers.

Feb. 15, 2019: Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid end their collusion grievance against the NFL. "For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL," their lawyers said a statement. "As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party."

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