Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl only a few short years ago, but now finds himself unemployed.
The first player to take a knee during the national anthem, Kaepernick has watched as players like Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden have been signed to teams.
Now, he feels as though he's being kept out of the league on purpose, and will take his case to the courts.
According to ESPN.com, Kaepernick has filed a collusion lawsuit against the league, claiming the 32 teams are conspiring to keep him from playing in the NFL. His attorney, Mark Geragos, released a statement that Kaepernick just wants a fair chance to return to the league:
"If the NFL (as well as all professional sports teams) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful protest -- 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," Geragos said in a statement. "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.
"Colin Kaepernick's goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field."
It remains to be seen what will come of this case, or how long it will take to get it adjudicated, but it's unlikely Kaepernick plays in the NFL this year.
Kaepernick's grievances aren't limited to the NFL though. He hired his own attorneys because he doesn't believe the NFL Players Association is doing everything it can to help him find a new job, either, according to a union statement released after Kaepernick's lawsuit was filed:
"We first learned through media reports today that Mr. Kaepernick filed a grievance claiming collusion through our arbitration system and is represented by his own counsel," the union statement said. "We learned that the NFL was informed of his intention to file this grievance before today."
The Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos all lost their starting quarterbacks to injury this week, but entering Week 7, it remains to be seen if any of them will reach out to Kaepernick for either the starting or backup jobs.
Now that there's a lawsuit against the league hanging over his head, though, it seems unlikely that he'll be getting a call until that situation is resolved.
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