Colin Kaepernick Defeats NFL’s Bid to Dismiss Collusion Lawsuit

(Bloomberg) -- Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick defeated the National Football League’s bid to dismiss his lawsuit alleging that the league has colluded to prevent him from securing a new contract as a free agent, according to a statement from an arbitrator provided by Kaepernick’s lawyer.

Two years ago, Kaepernick started to kneel rather than stand up during the national anthem before games as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice. He filed a grievance against the NFL in November, saying he had been retaliated against by the NFL owners for his political stance.

The player has claimed comments made by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence discouraged the NFL and individual team owners from hiring him and and his ex-teammate Eric Reid over the expression of their views on police brutality in the U.S.

At the start of last season, Trump exhorted NFL owners to fire players who take a knee during the national anthem. “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired,” he said in September at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the league, said the NFL declined to comment on the arbitrator’s ruling.

The statement was issued Thursday by Stephen B. Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, who is the system arbitrator for disputes between the NFL and its players.

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