Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing the 32 teams of colluding to keep him out of the league, reports the New York Times. Kaepernick started protesting the national anthem by kneeling during the song, a trend that many other players have picked up this year.
Many players believe the owners are penalizing Kaepernick, and this complaint can escalate the growing dispute. Kaepernick began kneeling to raise awareness of police brutality against black Americans and other social injustices, reports the New York Times.
President Donald Trump has condemned the protests and has called on owners to punish any player who kneels during the anthem. These comments recently sparked a national conversation about the rules surrounding the national anthem, writes the Times. Protests during the anthem spread through the NFL, but also to high school players, college cheerleaders, and according to the Times, a German soccer team.
Kaepernick opted out of her contract with the 49ers in March, reports The Times. Since then, he has been unable to find a team willing to sign him. The Times writes that his grievance will be heard by an “arbitrator under the terms of the labor agreement between the union and the league.” Mark Geragos, Kaepernick’s lawyer, released a statement that said Kaepernick had exhausted “every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives,” according to the Times.
— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) October 16, 2017
The league declined to comment, according to the Times.