Colin Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the NFL will go to trial after the league’s request to throw out the quarterback’s claims were denied.
Kaepernick says that NFL owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests against social injustice, inspiring droves of players to take a knee during the US national anthem.
The decision was tweeted by Kaepernick’s lawyer mark Geragos on Thursday, stating the ruling by arbitrator Stephen B Burbank.
— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) August 30, 2018
The former San Fransisco starting QB began a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, where he knelt during the national anthem to protest against police brutality and racial inequality.
The protests grew into one of the most polarising issues in sports, inspiring players in their droves to demonstrate during the anthem.
He said at the time he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour”.
The controversy reached a tipping point when US President Donald Trump loudly urged the league to suspend or fire players who did so.
Kaepernick, who filed the grievance in October 2017, contends the owners violated their collective bargaining agreement with players by conspiring to keep him off teams.
The case hinges on whether owners worked together rather than decided individually to not sign Kaepernick.
A similar grievance is still pending by unsigned safety Eric Reid, who played with Kaepernick in San Francisco and joined in the protests.
Meanwhile, the league and players union still haven’t resolved whether players will be punished this season if they choose to kneel or demonstrate during the national anthem.
Owners approved a policy requiring players to stand if they are on the sideline during the national anthem, allowing them to stay off the field if they wish.
But the league and union put that on hold after the Miami Dolphins faced backlash for classifying the protests as conduct potentially detrimental to the team – putting players at risk of fines or suspensions.