Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The grievance claims that the league’s owners, “Colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice.”
Instead of filing the grievance through the NFL Players Association, it was filed by his private attorney; although he is expected to receive support from the NFLPA.
"Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him,” the Players Association said in a statement. They also said that the organization is planning a call with his advisors early this week.
The protest began in August of 2016 before a preseason game against the Packers. Kaepernick was spotted sitting at the end of the bench as opposed to the traditional standing like the rest of the players.
He faced an enormous amount of backlash from people across the country for these actions. He was accused of dishonoring the Flag and the troops that defend it.
At the end of the 2016 season, he requested his release from the 49ers and entered the free agent pool as one of the better quarterbacks available.
Kaepernick remains unsigned to this day and the debate continues to rage on. Now, whether it’s due to the protests or because of his lackluster play since the 49ers improbable playoff run in 2013 is unknown.
In the last two seasons, Kaepernick has ranked 31st out of 34 eligible quarterbacks in QB Rating and dead last in win-loss total with a 3-16 record.
The most recent team to pass on him was the Tennessee Titans. With quarterback Marcus Mariota sidelined due to a hamstring injury, the Titans elected to sign 33-year-old Brandon Weeden instead of Kaepernick.
This move was especially curious due to Mariota’s playing style. He is a mobile quarterback, as Kaepernick is. This, in his mind, seemed to be the damning evidence that he needed to prove that the NFL is colluding against him.
This is not the first time that a collusion case has been brought up against a major sports organization. Just two years ago, Barry Bonds lost a case against the MLB in which he accused the owners of blackballing him due to controversy of his apparent use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Whatever the outcome, the case will be huge in regards to the end of the Kaepernick saga which began in August of last year.