The hits they keep a-comin’: Arbitrator allows courts to proceed with Kaepernick’s collusion case against NFL

The Colin Kaepernick versus the NFL drama is the gift that keeps on giving.  Like a stand-up comedian writing new material every time Trump takes to Twitter, keeping up with Kap is a sports blogger’s dream.  Much to the NFL’s dismay, Kaepernick will not go gentle into that good night.  Meanwhile, Roger Goodell is losing sleep.

The ink had barely dried on my latest anthem-related post when the New York Times released the news that an arbitrator found enough evidence to allow Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL to proceed.  Never before have I wanted to sit jury duty so badly.

In case you’ve been on another planet the last few years, Colin Kaepernick is the ex-San Francisco 49er quarterback who took a knee during the pregame national anthem “to raise awareness of police brutality and other forms of social injustice.”

At this point, it’s safe to say that awareness has been raised.

Two years later we are still talking about this very same issue, or at a minimum Kaepernick’s knee, with little resolution.

Kaepernick hasn’t played in an NFL game since January of 2017.  He opted out of his contract with San Francisco in March of that year and wasn’t picked up by any other team.

It is Kaepernick’s contention that NFL teams colluded to keep him off their rosters because of that knee, that he was perceived as a trouble-maker, a rabble-rouser, untouchable for doing the unthinkable.  That off-season he publicly stated he would stand for the anthem but by that point it was too late.

I’m not big on conspiracy theories but his contention that he was blacklisted by the league is certainly plausible.  In 2012, he quarterbacked the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl and showed all the promise in the world.  In 2016, he led the Niners to a 1-10 record as a starter.  His game, or at least his team, had regressed.  His knee wasn’t helping.

Back to the matter at hand.  No team took a serious look at Kaepernick.  Some claim it was because he wasn’t any good.  Others theorized it was because he wasn’t any good for the league.  Now it’s in the court’s hands.

You and I both know the NFL will escape these accusations scot-free.  It is highly unlikely that Kaepernick bring down the entire league or the current collective bargaining agreement.  For the record, all Kap is looking for in this settlement is the money he would have earned as an NFL starter, an amount none of the league’s 32 teams were willing to pay him.

But what if he’s right?  The arbitrator already claimed he had enough evidence to have a case.  What if it is proven that NFL teams colluded to keep him out of the league?  I mean, no NFL owner, GM or otherwise would be stupid enough to text or e-mail another NFL owner or GM about Kaepernick, would they?  What if they subpoena phone and computer records and find information that Kaepernick was telling the truth, that teams didn’t want to sign him for those very reasons?  Would that change the multitude’s perception of the man?  Would we think any more of him, any less of the league or would this be just business as usual?

No one could have predicted that his stand two years ago would have blown into the shitstorm it has become today, that his name would be removed from NFL video games, that people would openly protest him and the league, that the President of the United States would recommend the NFL fire the “sons of bitches” who followed in his footsteps.

This is quite the mess you’ve gotten us into, Collie.

I usually don’t like courtroom dramas but you can bet I’m going to pay close attention to this one, hoping for that final climactic scene where Goodell admits he ordered the code red.

When this issue first hit the headlines, people compared Kap’s move to Ali’s boldness and John Carlos’ raising of an Olympic fist.  I scoffed at the idea, thinking that things now weren’t nearly as bad as they were then, that these days, we didn’t have a reason to protest.  As it turns out, I was wrong.

Kaepernick has started one helluva movement.  One peaceful gesture has divided this country down party lines.  Here’s hoping for a peaceful resolution.

14 thoughts on “The hits they keep a-comin’: Arbitrator allows courts to proceed with Kaepernick’s collusion case against NFL

  1. The NFL are going to be made to pay for this . Goodell with his now $200 million contract should be made to pay for any settlement out of his own salary .

  2. Al…

    I think at this point it’s gone beyond the league cutting Kap a check for $20 million or so.

    Trust me, if it were that easy, they would have already done it.

  3. “He opted out of his contract”

    I think “blacklisted” implies that the owners all met or communicated as a group and all agreed that they collectively weren’t going to offer him another contract or allow him back into the league, which I think is total BS.

    I think if a team felt he could help them to get wins, he’d have a job. Yes, the kneeling distraction was a factor…But so was his sub-par play prior to his opting out. No employer should be forced to hire anyone for any reason other than they deem him or her as an asset to their company. Taking all things in to consideration (poor performance, kneeling, negative fan perception and excessive media coverage that would distract the team etc), no team chose to sign him. Seems pretty cut and dry to me. He simply wasn’t worth the headache. Common business sense decided that, not a conspiracy to blacklist him amongst the owners.

    Now he’s suing? WTF?
    YOU opted out ya dope.
    Live with the consequences of your actions.
    Where’s Vito Corleone to give him his Johnny Fontaine chat?
    “ACT LIKE A MAN!”
    But instead, he’s blaming someone else for his actions.
    Pussy move.

  4. Bleed…

    I read last night that if it’s proven that a majority of the teams colluded to keep him out of the league, that could disband the entire collective bargaining agreement.

    Now wouldn’t that be something.

  5. As far as opting out of his contract, he had already been told that he would be released. Lynch said that from the get go – very public knowledge.

    Got my popcorn supply ordered…..

  6. Illegal, probably not. Does it violate the CBA? Absolutely! Don’t know what all the supporting evidence in this case is looking like but it has to be somewhat compelling.

  7. I’m surprised Mueller isn’t involved here. That’s within his scope of investigation……..isn’t it?

  8. I believe Kaepernick was the victim of collusion by the owners. I have no idea if he is still a viable quarterback now, but I know he was a better option for many teams 2 years ago. He did bring the subject of police brutality into the light. This week a former Texas police officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of a unarmed African American teenager. Well done Colin, well done!

  9. Bets….

    That’s all we need.

    What’s the over/under on how many days before Trump speaks out about the NFL again?

    For shits and giggles, I’ll set it at 8 1/2 from today.

  10. On a side note, word on the street is, Nike has been paying Kaepernick for awhile and just waited to release the new campaign for the “right time.” Wonder if Nike would have been so enthusiastic to release the new campaign if his case was thrown out? Just a thought.

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