Kaepernick and Reid Settle Grievance Against NFL

On February 15, 2019, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a settlement with the NFL regarding their collusion claims against the NFL. As we have previously reported, Kaepernick accused the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the NFL refused to hire him because of his 2016 national anthem protests. Kaepernick has not been with an NFL team since severing his…
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Kaepernick’s Grievance against the NFL to Advance

Colin Kaepernick’s case against the NFL will proceed to a full hearing, following an arbitrator’s decision on Thursday, August 30, 2018 to deny the NFL’s motion for summary judgment. The former 49ers quarterback accuses the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the organization refuses to hire him because of the national anthem protests Kaepernick initiated in 2016. Now, with the case going to a full, trial-like format, some team…
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NFL and Players Union Defends Drug Testing of Eric Reid

A joint statement co-authored by the National Football League and its players union defended the decision to administer a series of drug tests to the Panthers’ Eric Reid, reiterating the organization’s ban against performance-enhancing drugs and stating that Reid was not singled out in the testing process. Reid had claimed that the NFL and its team had colluded against him in an effort to dissuade him from protesting the national anthem. Reid, a former San Francisco 49er, was one of the first players to kneel…
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USOC Moves to Revoke USA Gymnastics’ Official Governing Body Status

On November 5, 2018, the CEO of the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”), Sarah Hirshland, announced that the USOC moved to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics. The announcement comes after USA Gymnastics struggled during the Larry Nassar sex-abuse scandal. According to Hirshland, “[t]oday the United States Olympic Committee has filed a complaint … seeking to revoke [USA Gymnastics’] recognition as a member National Governing Body of the USOC.” Reportedly, Hirshland and the USOC ultimately decided…
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Arbitrator Denies Eric Reid’s Grievance Against Bengals

On October 23, 2018, it was announced that an arbitrator denied the National Football League Players Association’s (NFLPA) grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals. As we have previously reported, on July 11, 2018, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL over its national anthem policy. The policy, announced in May 2018, instructed players to either stand during the anthem or to not come out of the locker room until the anthem is over. In response, the NFLPA filed several non-injury grievances “on behalf…
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NFL Players Association Files Grievance Over League Anthem Policy

On Tuesday, July 11, the NFL Player Association (NFLPA) filed a grievance against the league over its new national anthem policy. The policy was announced in May 2018 after a wave of peaceful on-field protests by current players during the past NFL season. The players were protesting police brutality towards the African-American community as well as systematic racism. Nevertheless, the players and league itself received criticism and outrage from President Donald Trump and other conservatives over the player’s decision to protest by kneeling during the…
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Do NFL Players Have a First Amendment Challenge to the National Anthem Policy?

Colin Kaepernick first gained attention for his protests of the national anthem during National Football League preseason games in August 2016. Following Kaepernick’s lead, many athletes across various sports began demonstrating during the pre-game rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” The protests were met with widespread debate and incited responses from nearly every sports and media commentator. President Trump took to Twitter, posting a series of tweets sharing his strong feelings on the issue, calling for players who knelt to be “fired.” Kaepernick has…
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NFL Issues New Anthem Rules

On May 23, 2018, all 32 NFL team owners voted to approve a policy statement that would require players to stand during, and show respect for, the national anthem. However, if a player did not want to stand for the national anthem, then he must remain in the locker room. If a player decides to protest the national anthem by kneeling, or disrespecting the anthem or the flag in any way, then the team, not the player, will be fined. According to NFL Commissioner Roger…
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