When Colin Kaepernick’s status as a free-agent continued into the start of the 2017 football season, there was no longer any room for debate as to why the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback remained unemployed. Kaepernick was being punished for using his platform to peacefully protest police brutality.
Now, Kaepernick is finally confronting the NFL for their blackballing of the 29-year-old. According to his lawyer, Mark Geragos, the activist is filing a grievance against the NFL for collusion.
According to Bleacher Report, which first reported on the filing, Kaepernick’s grievance claims the league for conspired in his unemployment based on his protest.
“[NFL owners] have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States,” the suit claims.
While the grievance is warranted and shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, it is one of the few instances in which Kaepernick has directly fought back against the NFL. His reactions to public antagonism are typically to be inferred from his tweets as he rarely does interviews with the press.
Kaepernick’s agent claims he reached out to each of the NFL’s 32 teams to attain employment. The complaint states that the decision to sue the NFL was a last resort “only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”