The NFL is reportedly expected to hand over documents to Colin Kaepernick, who has filed a lawsuit against the league demanding his right to work. Kaepernick filed a grievance last October under the latest collective bargaining agreement against NFL owners for collusion. The free agent claimed that the league blackballed him following his #TakeAKnee protest against racial injustice in America. In the suit, his attorney, Mark Geragos, demands an arbitration hearing and argues that the NFL and its 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.” It continues, “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.”
Even though many NFL fans, and even some players, agree that Kaepernick has been targeted due to his activism, legal experts, however, say proving collusion by NFL owners will be tough, despite the fact that Kaepernick remains unsigned. According to Georgetown law professor Brad Snyder, he must establish that the agreement was violated and that there is substantial evidence of collusion between the teams, which is not easy. “It’s very possible that all the teams came to this same conclusion that, ‘We don’t want to hire this guy.’ That’s not illegal,” he told Axios.
Still, Geragos maintains that the case is winnable based on the law. According to him, he needs only an implied agreement for at least one team. “We are confident that at a minimum we will be able to prove that the [Collective Bargaining Agreement] impliedly was violated by circumstantial evidence. We expect that direct and express evidence exists as well.”