Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the National Football League, accusing the owners of colluding not to sign him.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday evening, attorney Mark Geragos said Kaepernick plans to accuse the NFL owners of violating the collective bargaining agreement with the players union, which bars collective blackballing of a player.
“We can confirm this morning we filed a grievance under the CBA on behalf of Colin Kaepernick. This was done only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives,” Geragos said in the statement.
The lawyer also claimed that the NFL and other pro sports leagues cannot punish “principled and peaceful political protest,” going on to blame President Trump for the purported blackballing.
“Athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government,” he wrote. “Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.”
The filing was first reported by Bleacher Report’s NFL columnist Mike Freeman, who posted on Twitter that “I am told that @Kaepernick7 has filed a grievance under the CBA for collusion against the owners.”
Kaepernick’s supporters have said that the former Super Bowl quarterback, who opted out of his contract with the 49ers before the season began, only remains unemployed because of blackballing over his starting the national-anthem protests.
Film director Spike Lee, for example, compared Kaepernick not being signed to Major League Baseball’s refusal to hire black players for decades before Jackie Robinson.
However, others sports reporters have noted that Kaepernick’s skills have deteriorated in recent years and that a marginal player isn’t worth such a distraction as he’d create, without any need for collusion to explain nobody signing him.
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