Since the offseason, pundits and fans of Colin Kaepernick have said that the NFL has blackballed him - and now, several weeks into the 2017-2018 season, Kaep is looking to hold the league accountable.
ESPN reports Kaepernick has filed a grievance against NFL owners for collusion. The complaint, filed by his lawyer Mark Geragos, says the NFL and its owners "have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States."
Instead of filing through the NFL Players Association, Kaepernick hired Geragos, who has also represented clients like Michael Jackson, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield and Chris Brown. Geragos released a statement over the weekend about the grievance
"If the NFL (as well as all professional sports teams) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful protest -- which the owners themselves made great theater imitating 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," Geragos said. "Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation. Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.
"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."
Kaepernick became the biggest story in sports in 2016, when he decided to sit out the national anthem to protest the United States' refusal to address police brutality toward black men. After meeting with one or more members of the military, Kaepernick opted to kneel for the anthem instead of simply sitting on the team bench, as a way to show reverence to veterans while still sticking to his cause.
Still, Kaepernick caused controversy around the NFL and national news media, with critics saying that he was disrespecting the military by kneeling during the anthem. Other players, in the NFL and in other sports, joined in and protested during the anthem in their own ways.
Kaepernick finished the 2016-2017 season with 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions for the San Francisco 49ers, one of the best touchdown-to-interception ratios in the league. But since leaving the 49ers in the offseason, Kaepernick has not been signed by another NFL team, despite pundits having a near-consensus that he's good enough to start for some teams and to play backup for others.
REVOLT TV will keep you updated as this story develops.