Student or Learner
What is the meaning of the following phrase :
The whole thing’s academic now—we can’t win anyway.
The definition in the link provided by bhaisahab was "theoretical and not related to practical effects in real life". I don't think we can do much better than that.If you read your sentence in context, it may now make sense.
Say your favorite soccer team is losing by 5 goals with 2 minutes left. The game is not over, but the outcome is certain. We might say that it's "academic."
Why we say this, I don't know.
See this example from an Australian paper:
Who will win? It's academic