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Thread: Colin Kaepernick’s N.F.L. Collusion Case Can Continue, Arbitrator Rules

  1. #1

    Colin Kaepernick’s N.F.L. Collusion Case Can Continue, Arbitrator Rules

    In a major blow to the N.F.L., an arbitrator has ruled that Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case can proceed because he has produced sufficient evidence that the league and its owners colluded to keep him off the field.

    The ruling by Stephen B. Burbank, an arbitrator who was appointed by the league and the N.F.L. Players Association, said lawyers for Kaepernick, a free-agent quarterback, had unearthed enough information in the past year for the case to proceed to a full hearing. After months of depositions and document searches, the lawyers will be able to question league officials, owners and others in a trial-like format.

    The decision was revealed by Mark Geragos, Kaepernick’s lawyer.

    The N.F.L., which had moved for summary judgment to end the case, declined to comment.

    A hearing would most likely begin by the end of the year, though it is possible the two sides could settle the case before then. Kaepernick is seeking damages equal to what he would have earned if he were still playing in the league.

    The decision, which was made public on Thursday, is likely to inflame an already noxious controversy inside the league over what to do about players who have been protesting during the national anthem. The season begins on Sept. 6.

    In August 2016, Kaepernick was the first player to kneel during the anthem, to raise awareness of police brutality and other forms of social injustice. Since then, dozens of other players have joined Kaepernick, creating a schism between fans, sponsors and owners. It has also led to a barrage of attacks by President Trump, who has said the owners should fire any player who does not stand for the anthem.

    In May, the league tightened its policy to force players to stand for the anthem, instead of just suggesting they stand, but the N.F.L. decided not to enforce the policy while league executives and the players’ union discussed whether or how to proceed.

    This summer, the N.F.L. asked the arbitrator to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed. Arbitrators often allow cases to proceed to a hearing, but the Kaepernick case has attracted so much attention it would have been difficult for Burbank to dismiss it, as the league had hoped.

    “Politically, if you’re the arbitrator, in a case as big as this is, there’s no way to throw it out,” said Charles Grantham, a former executive with the National Basketball Players Association who now teaches at the Center for Sport Management at Seton Hall University. “We knew that as soon as Donald Trump put his fingerprints on the issue.”
    "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.

  2. #2
    If this was court, the NFL would be screwed. But it's arbitration and the potential exposure is not the same, so I'm not sure the NFL will be folding anytime soon.

    Pete (would love to be in on that discovery)


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