After remaining largely silent while languishing as an NFL free agent for more than seven months, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a collusion grievance against league owners under the collective bargaining agreement, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. He retained attorney Mark Geragos to represent him.
Kaepernick has been a controversial figure since he first sat and then knelt during the national anthem before games with the 49ers in the 2016 season.
However, even though many players have now chose to take a knee during the anthem - some enitre teams have engaged in protests this season - the quarterback has yet to return to the field.
Kaepernick's been unemployed since he opted out of his contract at the conclusion of last season.
Even with multiple National Football League teams facing dilemmas at the quarterback position, the 29-year-old Kaepernick has yet to be signed by any of the NFL's 32 franchises. The fact that many teams with a need for a quarterback have passed up the chance to sign Kaepernick left many to believe owners are either punishing him for his stance or believe his presence would alienate fans. "Such a right is normally found in the collective bargaining agreement signed by a league and its players' association".
However, Commissioner Roger Goodell has denied there has been any blackballing of the quarterback. Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance. NFLPA said it has been in regular contact with Kaepernick, and "Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him".
The statement referenced comments made by President Trump, who criticized the NFL and attacked athletes who kneel during the national anthem.
The Green Bay Packers could be in the market this week after losing Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone on Sunday.
Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and has been one of the league's more unsafe dual-threat quarterbacks at times. But through six weeks of the regular season, he has still yet to receive an offer, despite a proven history of winning caliber play and a fairly solid statistical season past year, when he threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions.