Prompted by an immense backlash against the national anthem protests he inspired–as well as a bleak employment situation–Colin Kaepernick has gone on the offensive and taken the legal route against the NFL.
According to Forbes, on Sunday, Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL owners, citing the collective bargaining agreement, and arguing they have colluded to keep him out of the league. To represent him, Kaepernick has hired famous defense attorney Mark Geragos, who has worked for the likes of Michael Jackson and Chris Brown.
Geragos penned a statement released to the press shortly after Sunday night’s games. It read: “If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating two weeks ago — should not be punished, and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government.”
According to the lawyer, Kaepernick has “every possible avenue with NFL teams and their executives.” The statement clearly alludes to President Trump, whose sparked widespread NFL protests with remarks at a Luther Strange rally in Alabama, in which he said that players who refuse to stand for the national anthem should be fired.
Although the original intent of Kaepernick’s kneeling was to protest what he perceived to be the unjust killing of black men at the hands of white police officers, his refusal to stand during the national anthem seemingly became a way of spiting President Trump.
But NFL fans did not react positively to the demonstrations of players. As Christian News Alerts reported, the NFL has experienced major ratings declines, as well as lower stadium attendance.
As Breitbart reported, some NFL sponsors backed out of their investment in professional football advertising due to the heavy politicization of the league and the perceived unpatriotic stance of the players.
Some owners have taken action in an attempt to salvage the sport’s pro-American reputation. Christian News Alerts noted that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones promised to bench any player who does not stand for the national anthem.
As the controversy rages on, Kaepernick has remained without a job. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been a free agent since the end of the 2016 season. Kaepernick claims the reason he has not been picked up by a team is because of “collusion” among owners, who are allegedly targeting him for his political views.
“Such a precedent [of collusion] threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation,” Kaepernick’s statement read. “Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.” But the controversial football player is unlikely to win his case, despite the assistance of renowned attorney Mark Geragos.
Kaepernick has filed a grievance against NFL owners. Should they choose him for a team?
The basis for Kaepernick’s lawsuit depends on being able to prove collusion. At the moment, there’s no tangible proof owners consciously worked together to bar the quarterback from joining a team.
Kaepernick has now cemented his status as a controversy-magnet who will use the media and the legal process to go after his team owner, coaches, and teammates if he doesn’t get his way. Ironically, the activist-quarterback has likely–and inadvertently–ended his hopes of ever playing in the NFL again.