Kaepernick filing a collusion grievance against NFL owners, does he stand a legal chance


John Rickert, Writer

On October 15th, Colin Kaepernick made headlines for the 12,940th time this year by filing grievance against NFL owners for alleged collusion against the free agent quarterback. Kaepernick is contesting NFL owners, or the NFL office, colluded against him to keep him unemployed.


In the third preseason game of the 49ers last year, Colin Kaepernick sat during the National Anthem. He claimed he sat because ”this country is not representing what it’s supposed to represent.” In his words at the time, “black people and people of color are being oppressed”, and he will not stand for the anthem until he feels that the flag represents what it’s supposed to represent.”


Recently, current and former athletes from all over the sports world have shown support for Kaepernick and his protest by also demonstrating silent protest during the anthem or through verbal support. Some of the first to demonstrate during the anthem were Kaepernick’s teammate Eric Reid, Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks, and Megan Rapinoe of the US women’s National soccer team. There have been countless other professional athlete demonstrators since then.


Before the 49ers last preseason game last year, Kaepernick moderated his protest by kneeling alongside his standing teammates instead of sitting on the bench behind them. Former Navy Seal and brief Seattle Seahawks long snapper, Nate Boyer, expressed his displeasure with Kaepernick’s sitting during the anthem through an open letter. Shortly after, Boyer and Kaepernick met to discuss the protest. The two came to the solution of kneeling with his teammates as it is still a sign of respect in the military and will still bring to light the issues Kaepernick is advocating.


However, it was not ideal for the now free agent quarterback. His team finished 2-14, last in their division, and Kaepernick won only one of the eleven games he started.


After the season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract to leave the 49ers organization.He was unhappy under the head coach, Chip Kelly, and owner Jed York. Since opting out of his contract, Kaepernick has not been signed and has attracted minimal interest from teams. Some believe the cause is the media circus Kaepernick would bring but Kaepernick and his supporters disagree.


Drew Jezioro, a longtime football fan and senior at Oakdale High School, believes Kaepernick is good enough to be on an NFL roster but is not good enough to have when he would cause this type of media storm. “As a Bills fan, I wouldn’t mind if Kaepernick was signed as our backup, but I understand that would never happen because he’s not so good where it would cancel out the type of distraction he would be.”

Isaiah Thomas, a senior at Oakdale High School, believes Kaepernick has been “blackballed by the NFL.”


He stated, “There are some trash quarterbacks in the league right now like Blake Bortles (of the Jacksonville Jaguars). How can you justify Blake Bortles starting on a team but Kaepernick isn’t on an NFL roster at all? The NFL is treating him completely unfairly.”


After receiving no interest from the Titans after their quarterback went down with a hamstring injury, Colin Kaepernick and his agent filed for collusion grievance against NFL owners and the NFL office.


For Kaepernick and his legal team to come out victorious, they must prove that two or more NFL teams, or the NFL office, cooperated with one another to keep him off an NFL roster. If the burden of proof in this case was to prove that Kaepernick doesn’t have a job because of his protest, it would be a lot more simple.


Proving that more than one team or the NFL office conspired against Kaepernick seems unlikely, however, not impossible. Kaepernick and his legal team would likely need to be in possession of a document that shows two or more teams, or the NFL office, cooperating with one another against Kaepernick in some way to keep him unemployed. With Kaepernick’s legal team having not disclosed any document they may be in possession of, we’re left to speculate. In all likelihood, this document probably doesn’t exist. So what is Kaepernick trying to achieve with this suit? Again, we’re left to speculate.