Remember when we used to just be able to watch football on Sundays with friends and family without the politics?
On Monday, October 16, Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance alleging collusion by the NFL owners to keep him from getting a job in the NFL over his protests during the national anthem. Just in case you forgot or are new to football and do not understand what is going on, Kaepernick started kneeling (originally, he was sitting) during the 3rd week of the 2016 NFL preseason to protest against racial injustice in America and police brutality. While he was at first alone in his protests, many have joined since then, with the largest amount of protesters in Week 3 of this season after US President Donald Trump sayed that the NFL should “get that son of a b**ch off the field,” and fire a player that protests during the anthem. However, unlike many of his other followers, there is one thing that separates Kaepernick from the rest. Ever since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers back in the beginning of March of this year, Kaepernick has not been signed by another NFL team.
Now he is firing back.
Is there a case for collusion?
If Colin Kaepernick can prove that the NFL is colluding against him, he may not get a job in the NFL, but he may earn millions of dollars. Most of that would probably go towards charities and movement groups he supports. Not only that, but this could also protect his fellow protesters in the NFL from league punishment. According to attorney Mark J. Geragos’ law firm, who have decided to pursue the case, have stated that “Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.”
While I am not saying that Colin Kaepernick is right, he does have good points. It’s not just that he doesn’t have a job in the NFL, but worse quarterbacks have been signed by teams that need him. The fact that the Chicago Bears hired Mark Sanchez (remember the butt fumble anyone?) over Kaepernick is puzzling. Even though Colin Kaepernick wasn’t the same quarterback who led his team to the Super Bowl in 2012, his numbers were still good last year. According to pro-football-reference.com he finished with 2,241 Yards, 16 passing touchdowns to four interceptions, and a 90.7 quarterback rating.
It also seems weird that Kaepernick doesn’t have a job, yet other protesters do. Since Kaepernick has started his protests, about 84 players have protested during the national anthem, according to Sports Illustrated. None have them have been fired and all of them still have their jobs.
However, bad quarterback signings and a handful of protesters having a job while you do not still doesn’t prove collusion. Some owners may not want to hire Kaepernick as it might bring unwanted or unnecessary attention to their team. Others, such as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, may not want to hire Kaepernick because they do strongly oppose his message. But proving that all the NFL owners conspired against you to make sure you never play for them again is a lot harder. Kaepernick has to get evidence that NFL owners colluded with other NFL owners (not Trump) to make sure that Kaepernick doesn’t play in the NFL again.
Not evidence of owners/officials being racist (hopefully that’s not true). Not that he is probably better than most of the people signed instead of him. He must get evidence that the NFL is colluding against him.
A good deal of collusion allegations have been made in other leagues besides the NFL, such as the MLB. For example, back in 2009, Barry Bonds accused the MLB of collusion after he wasn’t signed by any team despite the factor he was the best hitter at the time. Six years later, he lost the case due to lack of evidence.
Colin Kaepernick is fighting an uphill battle that is built more on speculation than truth. Then again, what conspiracy theory isn’t built on a little speculation? Some of them have become disturbingly true, so Kaepernick has a chance. Overall though, I predict many fans will stop caring soon. We want our football without politics and this doesn’t help that. Hopefully, Kaepernick will have his job back soon. And hopefully, this will be over very quickly.
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