Colin Kaepernick Files Collusion Grievance Against NFL

No stranger to headlines, athlete turned activist Colin Kaepernick is making news once again as reports surface of him filing a grievance against the NFL. The grievance of collusion filed on Sunday (Oct. 15) alleges that NFL owners have violated the collective bargaining agreement that the league has in place. The free agent quarterback accuses owners of conspiring against him by working collaboratively to “specifically deprive” him in his efforts to get hired from another team, since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers earlier this year.

Kaepernick, who has been notably vocal about advocating for racial equality in the US, goes on to allege that NFL owners excluding him from the league was an act of deliberate retaliation stemming from his highly sensationalized national anthem protest.

According to VIBE, the collusion grievance states that during “2017 NFL season and continuing to the present, the NFL, by and through all NFL team owners, NFL employees and team employees, have entered into and enforced, implied and/or expressed agreement to specifically deprive” Kaepernick from being employed by the NFL, “as well as from practicing with and/or trying out for NFL teams for which Mr. Kaepernick is eminently qualified.”

The grievance also goes on to explain Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, explaining that Kaepernick “opted not to stand” to “raise awareness of racial inequality and minority oppression in the United States through a silent and peaceful protest of a nation that was not living up to its ideals of freedom and equality guaranteed to all citizens.”

It should also be noted that standing during the national anthem is not mandatory for NFL players, which was also specified in the claim.

Kaepernick issued an official statement through his lawyer Mark Geragos, which reads as follows:

“We can confirm that this morning we filed a grievance under the CBA on behalf of Colin Kaepernick. This was done only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.

If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political 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. 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.”

Photo Credit: Colin Kaepernick/Official Website

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.