By Chineze Ogugua
San Francisco 49ers quarter-back Colin Kaepernick has filed a lawsuit against NFL team owners as he believes they have conspired not to hire him because of his protests against racial injustice.
The 29-year old has been without a team since he first protested by sitting during the national anthem in August 2016, before opting to kneel instead.
Since then, other players have followed suit, and criticism from President Donald Trump this September saw the protests spread. The latest being the recent NFL game in which Vice President Mike Pence had to leave the game after most of the players knelt in protests while the anthem was played.
In a statement by Kaepernick’s lawyers, it read: “We can confirm that this morning we filed a grievance under the CBA on behalf of Colin Kaepernick.”
“This was done only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”
“If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest – which the owners themselves made great theatre imitating weeks ago – should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment.”
“Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation. Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr Kaepernick to file his grievance.”
“Colin Kaepernick’s goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field.”
Yesterday, some players from the 49ers still knelt during the anthem before their match kicked off.
While Kaepernick’s protests seems to be yielding fruits, it is still yet to be seen how far he can go or how successful he will be with his lawsuit.
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