Kaepernick Unemployed


Courtesy of Gerry Melendez

Kaepernick raises his fist after a game against the Panthers.

Amanda Chung, Photojournalist

Since Kaepernick officially opted out of the final season of his contract with the NFL in order to become an unrestricted free agent, he has yet to be signed into a new team; he has been a free agent since March. Criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, Kaepernick’s lawyer, confirmed that he is filing a lawsuit against the NFL team owners for colluding to keep him unemployed.

Many speculate that his unemployment is due to the fact that Kaepernick popularized the protests against the national anthem. Since he first took the knee in 2016, hundreds have followed in his footsteps. These protests are demonstrated all over the United States, from schools to obscure sporting events such as a fencing tournament. Many team owners such as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross have forbidden their players from kneeling during the anthem (Think Progress).

Not only can this lawsuit satisfy Kaepernick’s personal gain, it could be a game-changer for the labor rights of all NFL players. He is hoping to “trigger termination of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was signed on 2011 and is set to expire in 2021” (Think Progress).

Donald Trump has touched upon this subject at a rally in Alabama a few weeks ago, where he said he’d “love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects [the] flag, to say, ‘get that son of a ***** off the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!’”

Ashley Bui-Tran (11) believes that there was indeed some collusion between the team owners to prevent Kaepernick from being signed onto a team this season. She also thinks that “Trump’s words contributed to this because he’s the president, and if the president is against these protests, the team owners will feel pressured to put an end to this controversy.”

As of now, there will be a meeting on October 31 where Kaepernick can go and express his grievances. This will be the second meeting where the team owners and players discuss the protests that are going on at the moment.