Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against NFL owners, alleging they colluded to keep him from playing, multiple outlets reported on Sunday, October 15.
ABC News, which obtained a copy of the court filing, reports that the free-agent quarterback, 29, has hired high-powered attorney Mark Geragos to represent him instead of going through the NFL Players Association.
The former San Francisco 49ers player made headlines last year when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice. It led to him being criticized in the press and he severed his contract with the 49ers in March.
ABC reports that Kaepernick’s agent has reached out to all 32 teams in the league to note his availability, but he hasn’t been picked up.
His move to take a knee has swept across the league, with several players kneeling before games, amid heavy criticism from President Donald Trump, who said during a rally in Alabama last month that players who do that should be “fired.”
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired!’” the former reality TV star told his supporters on September 22.
Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence left an NFL game after several players took a knee. The move was later mocked and criticized as a costly PR stunt after Trump tweeted that he’d urged his VP to leave the stadium if players kneeled as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denied in June that Kaepernick had been blackballed by owners.
“I believe that if a football team feels that Colin Kaepernick, or any other player, is going to improve that team, they’re going to do it,” he told ESPN.com.
In a memo sent to all the teams on Tuesday, October 10, Goodell wrote that “everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” adding, “We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”
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