The Colin Kaepernick saga took another turn on Sunday when ESPN reported that free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL team owners claiming collusion.
The report said Kaepernick was not going through the National Football Players Association, instead he hired high profile lawyer Mark Geragos, who has represented celebrities like Michael Jackson and Chris Brown in the past.
The filing demands an arbitration on the matter, and stated that the NFL team 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.”
A copy of the complaint was sent to the NFLPA and all 32 NFL teams by Kaepernick’s attorney. Kaepernick, who has been mostly silent since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, tweeted on Sunday that he filed the grievance “only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”
“If the NFL (as well as all professional sports teams) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful 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,” Geragos said in a statement. “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 statement continued.
The NFLPA issued a statement offering support to Kaepernick.