Kaepernick to sue NFL owners, charging collusion

Colin Kapernick is suing the NFL over the refusal by any team to sign him on as a quarterback. He contends that they are all collectively punishing him for his national-anthem protests last year and that, if so, they are violating the NFL's own collective bargaining agreement against "collusion."
By Tyler Henderson | Oct 17, 2017
Embattled former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has hired an attorney and plans to sue the NFL over its team owners' unanimous refusal to hire him after the 49ers let him go. Kaepernick will argue that the NFL's owners are colluding to keep him outostensibly because of controversy surrounding his kneeling during the national anthem last year as a protest actions against racism in U.S. law enforcement.

The NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement forbids teams from coming together to deprive a player of employment. Kaepernick's on-field political advocacy got sympathy from many other NFL players, who joined him in kneeling, but aroused ire among some football fans and NFL executives. Kaepernick suspects that NFL owners are collectively shunning him as a result of the criticisms against him, which he argues trounces on his rights as a player and a citizen.

Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr Kaepernick to file his grievance," said Mark Geragos, Kaepernick's attorney, in a statement. "Colin Kaepernick's goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field."

President Trump has also inveighed against the football players' protests and demanded that the NFL fire them, Geragos noted. The attorney called on the NFL to not punish "principled and peaceful protest" and to not let "partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government" pressure any teams into denying a player employment.

Kaepernick led San Francisco to the Super Bowl in 2013. He left the team last season and has been seeking a position with another team ever since.

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