There are many people who believe Colin Kaepernick is and apparently one of those people is Kaepernick himself, as the former 49ers quarterback, who has remained unemployed for months, is pursuing his options to file a grievance against the NFL owners, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports.
The obvious gist of this grievance would be that Kaepernick has been unemployed not because of his skillset, but becauseback in 2016 preseason in protest of racial inequalities that exist in America.
Prominent criminal defense lawyer Mark Geragos, who is representing Kaepernick in grievance proceedings, has now issued a statement:
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 the 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 return to the football playing field.
The NFLPA also released a statement Sunday night:
Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him.
The NFLPA has been in regular contact with Mr. Kaepernick's representatives for the past year about his options and our union agreed to follow the direction of his advisors throughout that time.
We first learned through media reports today that Mr. Kaepernick filed a grievance claiming collusion through our arbitration system and is represented by his own counsel. We learned that the NFL was informed of his intention to file this grievance before today.
We are scheduling a call with his advisors for early this week.
Playersand . There were hundreds of players taking knees in the early weeks of the season, with things getting particularly heated after "fire" any "son of a b----" who doesn't stand for the anthem.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers this past offseason, but GM John Lynch later confirmed the team was planning on releasing him regardless of the decision Kap made.
It was believed, in a league where quarterbacks are the most important currency, that Kaepernick would find a job with some team. But he couldn't get a backup gig, much less a starting gig.
The Ravens expressed interest in him when Joe Flacco suffered a preseason injury, but then things got awkward because management felt as if they needed to to sign Kaepernick. Owner Steve Bisciotti asked everyone to "pray for us." The Ravens ended up sticking with Ryan Mallett as their backup. They are, of why Kaepernick is not working for reasons other than football.
It's difficult to imagine Kap being "blackballed" in the truest sense of the word -- 32 NFL owners and teams are not conspiring to keep someone from working. But it is not unreasonable to believe that Kaepernick's decision to take a knee has cost him an opportunity to play football, which is likely the basis for his grievance.
The grievance will likely garner a lot of support, but it may be irrelevant in terms of how successful it can actually be.