Colin Kaepernick has taken legal action against the National Football League, filing a grievance under the most recent collective bargaining agreement that accuses NFL owners of collusion.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback claims he’s being punished for starting the wave of protests where football players kneel during the national anthem, arguing that team owners conspired to keep him out of the league.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the burden of proof for collusion is as follows: "The failure by a club or clubs to negotiate, to submit offer sheets, or to sign contracts with restricted free agents or transition players, or to negotiate, make offers, or sign contracts for the playing services of such players or unrestricted free agents, shall not, by itself or in combination only with evidence about the playing skills of the player(s) not receiving any such offer or contract, satisfy the burden of proof set forth …"
Kaepernick, who’s been a free agent since March when he opted out of his contract, decided to hire an attorney rather than go through the NFL Players’ Association.
High profile lawyer Mark Geragos is representing him. Geragos has had a number of famous clients, including Michael Jackson, musician Chris Brown, and Bill Clinton’s brother, Roger Clinton.
Geragos said he filed the grievance after exhausting all other avenues with NFL teams and their executives.
“If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished,” Geragos said in a statement posted on Twitter, “and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation.”
Back in June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell denied collusion against Kaepernick, telling ESPN he believes “that if a football team feels that Colin Kaepernick, or any other player, is going to improve that team, they’re going to do it.”