Kaepernick’s Grievance against the NFL to Advance
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 executives, coaches, and owners will be called to testify during the season.
As we have previously reported, Kaepernick’s protests began in 2016, sparked by a wave of police shootings against African American men. To object to these events, he and other players would kneel during the national anthem before the football game began. The national anthem protests have sparked significant controversy in the media, inspiring indignant tweets from President Trump, who insisted that the players should be “fired” if they choose not to stand during the anthem.
Now, Kaepernick’s case will proceed to a full hearing, as the arbitrator over the case rejected the NFL’s argument that the case should be dismissed for lack of evidence. Kaepernick will further contend that the NFL has collectively and systematically refused to offer him a contract as a direct punishment of his role in the national anthem protests.
The NFL cannot appeal the arbitrator’s conclusion that the trial should go forward, but the NFL can appeal the final ruling.