Colin Kaepernick has been fighting to have his collusion case against the NFL move to a trial and that wish has been fulfilled. The arbitrator in the matter ruled in favor of the free agent quarterback after all 32 teams in the league failed to support why they should receive a summary judgment against Kaepernick and thus taking the case to be heard before a judge.
Sports Illustrated reports:
The technical reason for Burbank’s ruling is that the NFL and its teams failed to convince Burbank, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, that they had met the necessary standard for summary judgment. Under Article 17 of the CBA, Burbank would have granted summary judgment if Kaepernick hadn’t shown enough evidence sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact.
The “genuine issue” is whether the 30-year-old Kaepernick has been victimized by collusion, which in this context refers to two or more teams, or the league and at least one team, conspiring to deprive Kaepernick of his collectively bargained right to sign with a team. Kaepernick, who earlier in his career led the 49ers to a division championship and a Super Bowl appearance, contends that teams have conspired to keep him out of the NFL. They have allegedly done so on account of the controversy surrounding his kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.
A key element of Kaepernick’s argument is that owners are fearful about the capacity and the willingness of President Donald Trump—an ardent critic of Kaepernick and of other players who kneel during the anthem—to damage the league’s business and legal interests. Such a concern was documented in audio recordings of owners during an October 2017 meeting that centered on Kaepernick and the national anthem. This same concern resurfaced in June 2018 when Trump rescinded a White House invitation to the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on account of his perception that Eagles players disagreed with him on the anthem (in reality, not one player on the Eagles kneeled during their Super Bowl season).
The outlet adds that if Burbank can prove 14 or more teams categorically denied Kaepernick an opportunity to play, the NFL’s player union can band together and call for an end to the current collective bargaining agreement.
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