Arbitrator rejects NFL request to dismiss collusion case
Colin Kaepernick’s grievance against the NFL will move forward after an arbitrator denied the NFL’s request to dismiss the collusion case.
The league had sought to have Kaepernick’s case scuttled but arbitrator Stephen Burbank nixed the motion.
“On August 28, 2018, the System Arbitrator denied the NFL’s request that he dismiss Colin Kaepernick’s complaint alleging that his inability to secure a player contract since becoming a free agent in March 2017 has been due to an agreement among team owners and the NFL that violates Article 17, Section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA (union),” Burbank wrote in his statement.
Pro Football Talk, citing a source, reported that the ruling will give Kaepernick and his attorney, Mark Geragos, more chances to gather information as to why the quarterback has been unable to secure employment in the NFL.
A free agent since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in October 2017 that accused the 32 owners of collusion.
Kaepernick filed his grievance after his agent reached out to all NFL teams to make sure they were aware of his interest in playing last season.
Kaepernick has been a controversial figure since he first sat and then knelt during the national anthem before games while with the 49ers in the 2016 season as a protest against police brutality against African-Americans, social injustice and racial inequality.
At the heart of Kaepernick’s grievance is his claim that owners colluded to keep him off the field because of the protests and not due to his ability.
Kaepernick and his legal team claim that league owners violated terms of the collective bargaining agreement, specifically a clause that prohibits teams from acting together in regards to a player’s employments status.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated on multiple occasions last season that Kaepernick was not being blackballed.
Goodell, along with several owners and at least two other NFL executives, were asked to turn over all cell phone records and emails in the case, Yahoo Sports reported earlier this year.