Colin Kaepernick will name President Donald Trump’s harsh anti-protest rhetoric as a central factor in his collusion grievance against National Football League (NFL) ownership, according to CBS News.
Kaepernick plans to file a grievance against NFL ownership alleging a concerted effort by the 32 team owners to freeze him out of the league. The former 49ers quarterback will cite Trump’s public calls for owners to fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem as a central motivation in the owners’ decision to keep Kaepernick off the field, a source with knowledge told CBS News.
Kaepernick, unsigned since he became a free agent in March, will argue Trump created a culture in which NFL owners felt compelled to avoid his public ire by refusing to sign Kaepernick, a leader within the players protest movement. His legal team will reportedly rely on a number of Trump’s tweets and public statements in which he seemed to imply some degree of control over the owners’ personnel decisions.
Spoke to Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys yesterday. Jerry is a winner who knows how to get things done. Players will stand for Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
In order to prove collusion, Kaepernick’s legal team must demonstrate that the team owners either expressly communicated about restricting Kaepernick’s opportunities, or that the owners had an “implied” agreement not to sign Kaepernick, likely out of deference to Trump.
The players collective bargaining agreement states: “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 … ”
Trump began his crusade against NFL protests during a September rally for Luther Strange in Alabama in which he called the protestors “sons of bitches” and called on fans to boycott the NFL until the protests ceased.
WATCH: DAILY CALLER’S VINCE COGLIANESE BREAKS DOWN THE NFL PLAYER CONTROVERSY
Kaepernick began what is now a pervasive trend of players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to NFL owners on Oct. 10 in which he bemoaned the divisive effect of the protests.
“The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country,” Goodell wrote. “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem.”
WATCH THE STEELERS STAY IN THE LOCKER ROOM FOR THE ANTHEM:
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