Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL will proceed after an arbitrator appointed by the league and the players’ association ruled that Kaepernick had produced sufficient evidence that NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league following his trailblazing protests during the national anthem. Kaepernick filed a grievance last fall against the NFL alleging that the league made a coordinated effort to keep him out of the league following the 2016 season. During Kaepernick’s last season in the league, following two full seasons as the San Francisco 49ers starter, the then-28-year-old quarterback started 11 games after starting the season on the bench, before vanishing from the league altogether. This upcoming season will be his second out of the league.
Arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank rejected the NFL’s request for a summary judgement that would have put an end to the grievance. “After months of depositions and document searches, the lawyers will be able to question league officials, owners and others in a trial-like format,” the New York Times reports. “A hearing would most likely begin by the end of the year, though it is possible the two sides could settle the case before then. Kaepernick is seeking damages equal to what he would have earned if he were still playing in the league.”