Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the 32 owners of the NFL, alleging that they have violated the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement by colluding to keep him from getting an opportunity to work as an NFL quarterback. Sources close to Kaepernick’s lawyers allege that the suit will lean heavily on the rhetoric of Trump and the owners’ own grandstanding when Trump called the players who followed Kaepernick’s kneeling protest “sons of bitches” and proclaimed that they should be fired.

Kaepernick’s lawyers released a statement Monday that read:

“If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protests — 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.”

Kaepernick maintains that he and his agent made contact with all 32 NFL teams and owners, letting them know that he was available and ready if they needed a quarterback, and so far Kaepernick has not received as much as a phone call to come work out. However, back when Kaepernick first began his stance, he knew and noted that losing his NFL career might has been the cost he paid to speak out and speak up for those whom people might not even hear out.

Kaepernick’s grievance claim stands in stark contrast to Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, and his claims that Colin Kaepernick is not being blackballed, or the subject of an unfair collusion to keep him out of the league. However, the language in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) seems to side with Kaepernick’s interpretation.

“No Club, its employees or agents shall enter into any agreement, express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club, its employees or agents to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making,” the CBA states, adding that the clause applies to “whether to negotiate or not to negotiate with any player” and “whether to offer or not to offer a Player Contract to any player.”

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