The Colin Kaepernick saga has taken an interesting twist. Kaepernick, the currently unemployed NFL quarterback, has filed a grievance against the NFL owners claiming that they have colluded to prevent him from signing with a team and resuming his career in the NFL.
The grievance states that the 32 NFL 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.”
As a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem last season as a way to protest racial and social injustice throughout the country. Kaepernick parted ways with the 49ers in March despite reports that he would be willing to stand for the national anthem this season.
Kaepernick did not file his grievance through the NFL Players Association. Instead, he hired his own attorney, Mark Geragos, who has previously had several high-profile clients in sports and entertainment. The grievance demands that Kaepernick receive an arbitration hearing.
While Kaepernick struggled over the past couple of seasons, his track record and skill set make it hard to believe that a team has not taken a flyer on him this season, based simply on his talent and potential compared to some of the other quarterbacks currently on NFL rosters. His agent has reportedly reached out to all 32 teams, but none have expressed serious interest in signing him.
Despite Kaepernick not being on a roster, many NFL players have followed his lead in kneeling for the national anthem over the past month. The movement has been controversial and even elicited a negative response from President Donald Trump. Some of Trump’s comments only implored more NFL players to kneel or lock arms during the anthem in a show of unity.
Of course, many have mistaken the kneeling by Kaepernick and other players as being disrespectful toward the flag. However, the players who have taken a knee have overtly stated, often times to deaf ears, that they are simply exercising their first amendment right by peacefully protesting injustice.
As of Sunday night, the NFL has not publicly responded to Kaepernick’s grievance.