Colin Kaepernick files collusion grievance against NFL owners – CBSSports.com

There are many people who believe
Colin Kaepernick
is being blackballed and apparently one of those people is Kaepernick himself, as the former
San Francisco 49ers
quarterback, who has remained unemployed for months, is pursuing his options to file a grievance against the NFL owners, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports. 

The obvious gist of this grievance would be that Kaepernick has been unemployed not because of his skillset, but because he decided to take a knee during the national anthem back in 2016 preseason in protest of racial inequalities that exist in America. 

Prominent criminal defense lawyer Mark Geragos, who is representing Kaepernick in grievance proceedings, has now issued a statement:

We can confirm that 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 the NFL teams and their executives.

If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political 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. 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 return to the football playing field.

The NFLPA also released a statement Sunday night:

Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him.

The NFLPA has been in regular contact with Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives for the past year about his options and our union agreed to follow the direction of his advisors throughout that time.

We first learned through media reports today that Mr. Kaepernick filed a grievance claiming collusion through our arbitration system and is represented by his own counsel. We learned that the NFL was informed of his intention to file this grievance before today.

We are scheduling a call with his advisors for early this week.

Players taking knees became a thing during the 2016 season and really mushroomed as the 2017 season began. There were hundreds of players taking knees in the early weeks of the season, with things getting particularly heated after President Donald Trump said NFL owners should “fire” any “son of a b—-” who doesn’t stand for the anthem.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers this past offseason, but GM John Lynch later confirmed the team was planning on releasing him regardless of the decision Kap made. 

It was believed, in a league where quarterbacks are the most important currency, that Kaepernick would find a job with some team. But he couldn’t get a backup gig, much less a starting gig. 

The
New York Jets
signed
Josh McCown
, the Browns traded for Brock Osweiler and drafted
DeShone Kizer
, the
Houston Texans
pursued
Tony Romo
but ended up drafting
Deshaun Watson
and the
Miami Dolphins
even dragged
Jay Cutler
out of retirement. 

Backup quarterbacks around the league being signed led to Kaepernick supporters melting down — when
Blaine Gabbert
was signed by the
Arizona Cardinals
people freaked out and they lost their daggum minds when Austin Davis signed with the
Seattle Seahawks

The
Tennessee Titans
saw
Marcus Mariota
suffer an injury and promptly signed
Brandon Weeden
, which is pretty hard to stomach.

Kap has gotten some visits, but nothing panned out. The Seahawks took a look at Kaepernick as well, but ultimately passed after a workout. Pete Carroll said he believed Kap wanted to be a starter, not a backup. (Or maybe Seattle didn’t want Kap sitting on the roster behind
Russell Wilson
.)

The
Baltimore Ravens
expressed interest in him when
Joe Flacco
suffered a preseason injury, but then things got awkward because management felt as if they needed to check with fans and sponsors before agreeing to sign Kaepernick. Owner Steve Bisciotti asked everyone to “pray for us.” The Ravens ended up sticking with
Ryan Mallett
as their backup. They are, by far the best example of why Kaepernick is not working for reasons other than football. 

It’s difficult to imagine Kap being “blackballed” in the truest sense of the word — 32 NFL owners and teams are not conspiring to keep someone from working. But it is not unreasonable to believe that Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee has cost him an opportunity to play football, which is likely the basis for his grievance.

The grievance will likely garner a lot of support, but it may be irrelevant in terms of how successful it can actually be.

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*