The Colin Kaepernick saga continues. Kaepernick is one of the most talked about players in the league and is well known for refusing to stand during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality. ESPN now reports that the former quarterback, who was not hired by any NFL team this season, has filed a grievance against the 32 owners of the NFL for colluding to keep him out of the league.
Kaepernick has reportedly hired Mark Geragos as his attorney. Geragos has represented several high-profile athletes and entertainers in the past. It’s important to note that Kaepernick is not using a league representative as his lawyer but, instead, has decided to use an outside attorney.
The collective bargaining agreement that all 32 NFL teams must adhere to states that an owner or coach may not collude to exclude a player from playing in the league.
Gabriel Feldman, the Director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane University, discussed with the Washington Post whether Kaepernick has a legal case.
“There has to be some evidence of an agreement between multiple teams not to sign a player,” he said. “Disagreement over personnel decisions, as obvious as it may seem to someone looking at this, does not provide evidence of collusion. There has to be some evidence of an explicit or implied agreement. There has to be proof of a conspiracy.”
In Kaepernick’s grievance case, he claims NFL teams displayed “unusual and bizarre behavior” during the 2017 offseason. It would appear that the unusual and bizarre behavior he’s referring to is not considering him as a quarterback even though several teams were desperately searching for quarterbacks at the time.
According to The Hill, Kaepernick’s suit also states that the President and Vice President have “engaged in various public relations stunts designed to retaliate against Mr. Kaepernick and other players that have joined in Kaepernick’s peaceful protest.”
Kaepernick started the controversial act of kneeling during the playing of the national anthem during the 2016 season. There wasn’t much of a following until the start of the 2017 season when hundreds of players began kneeling as well.
Kaepernick has not played since the end of the 2016 season when he opted not to re-sign with his team at the time, the San Francisco 49ers.