Kaepernick files grievance against NFL, citing collusion
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[October 16, 2017]
(The Sports Xchange) - Free-agent
quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL,
accusing the 32 owners of collusion, his legal team announced on
Kaepernick has remained unemployed through the first six weeks of
the NFL season, even when injuries to other quarterbacks created job
openings. He retained attorney Mark Geragos to represent him.
"We can confirm that this morning we filed a grievance under the CBA
on behalf of Colin Kaepernick," Geragos said in a statement, in
reference to the collective bargaining agreement. "This was done
only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and
"If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to
remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political
protests -- 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 to return to the football playing field."
The 29-year-old Kaepernick said his agent reached out to all 32
teams to make sure they were aware of his interest in playing this
season. He opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in
Kaepernick has been a controversial figure since he first sat and
then knelt during the national anthem before games with the 49ers in
the 2016 season. The move was the beginning of what turned into
league-wide protests earlier this season after U.S. President Donald
Trump made critical comments of players who don't stand for the
Kaepernick and his legal team are claiming the owners violated terms
of the collective bargaining agreement, specifically a clause that
prohibits teams from acting together in regards to a player's
"No Club, its employees or agents shall enter into any agreement,
express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club, its employees or
agents to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making," the
CBA states, adding that the clause applies to "whether to negotiate
or not to negotiate with any player" and "whether to offer or not to
offer a Player Contract to any player."
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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick pumps his fist as
he acknowledges the cheers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los
Angeles, California, U.S. on December 24, 2016. REUTERS/Robert
Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has stated on multiple occasions this
season that Kaepernick is not being blackballed.
The Players Association said it will back Kaepernick in his fight
against the NFL and is in the process of scheduling a conference
call with his advisors for early this week.
"Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players
and we will support him," the NFLPA said in a statement. "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."
Among the teams who lost a starting quarterback this season were the
Miami Dolphins. In that instance, Miami lured Jay Cutler out of
retirement to be its signal-caller, citing a relationship Dolphins
head coach Adam Gase and Cutler developed when both were with the
The Baltimore Ravens considered Kaepernick when Joe Flacco sustained
a training camp injury but ultimately passed on signing him.
The Tennessee Titans needed a quarterback earlier this month when
Marcus Mariota was injured. They opted for journeyman Brandon
The Green Bay Packers could be in the market this week after losing
Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone on Sunday.
Kaepernick passed for 2,241 yards with 16 touchdowns and four
interceptions while fumbling a career-worst seven times with the
49ers last season. He also ran for 468 yards and two touchdowns.
In six NFL seasons, Kaepernick has passed for 12,271 yards with 72
touchdowns and 30 interceptions, adding another 2,300 yards and 13
touchdowns on the ground.
Kaepernick, who guided the 49ers to the Super Bowl following the
2012 season, has indicated he would stand for the national anthem
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