Colin Kaepernick is taking the NFL to court. It was reported on Sunday, October 15, that the star quarterback-turned-activist has filed a grievance that accuses the league’s team owners of collusion under its collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association. After news broke about the move it was confirmed that he has foregone representation under the Players Association and hired high powered attorney Mark Geragos (who has defended the likes of Michael Jackson and Chris Brown) to argue his case.
Each of the NFL’s 32 teams has been sent a copy of the court document, as has the NFLPA. The complaint charges that owners and executives around the NFL “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.” Geragos has called for an arbitration hearing on behalf of his client.
Kaepernick has been out of a job since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March. He’d go on to shop his on-field abilities to a couple of teams but stopped receiving calls to work out for teams in the market for a quarterback before long. As the offseason dragged out with various questionable signings at the quarterback position, fans began to question why Kaepernick was being passed over and suspicions that he was being blackballed began to take root. While a number of players and analysts have openly professed their belief that his activism is viewed as a “distraction” and thus played a role in him being denied a shot, team representatives have vehemently denied that he is being blackballed on their account.