Unsigned NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is preparing to file a grievance against NFL owners for collusion, and has hired high-profile attorney Mark Geragos, according to media reports.
According to the NFL Players’ Association, “Collusion occurs when two or more teams, or the league and at least one team, join to deprive a player of a contractually earned right. Such a right is normally found in the collective bargaining agreement signed by a league and its players’ association. For example, the right of a free-agent player to negotiate a contract with a team cannot be impaired by a conspiracy of teams to deny that a player a chance to sign.”
During the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice and police brutality in America.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract at the end of last season and many assumed he would be signed by one of the 32 NFL teams, especially given that he posted above average numbers on a less than stellar San Francisco team (he finished the year with 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions in 12 games.)
When that didn’t happen, and far less talented quarterbacks were signed to start or even serve as backups this season, many believed that the NFL owners had blackballed the 29-year-old for his actions.
Several NFL players have continued to kneel this season—not only in support Kaepernick but to continue to bring light to the reason he began his protest in the first place—racial injustice in America, much to the dismay of some fans and President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly spoken out about the player’s actions.
Others, however, including Howard University’s cheerleaders, a German soccer team, and the cast of Miss Saigon, have all knelt in solidarity with him.