Sports

Arbitrator sends Kaepernick's grievance against National Football League to trial

Arbitrator sends Kaepernick's grievance against National Football League to trial

Colin Kaepernick and his legal team are driving inside NFL territory, forcing the league and its 32 teams to brace for a defensive stand.

Kaepernick's collusion grievance against the National Football League will proceed to a hearing an arbitrator ruled earlier this week. An arbitrator this week rejected an National Football League motion to dismiss Kaepernick's grievance. The NFL declined a request for comment. Kaepernick and Reid, both former San Francisco 49ers, drew a standing ovation from the audience when they were shown on the big screen sitting in the stands.

Sports Illustrated described the decision to move Kaepernick's case forward as "a landmark ruling that substantially alters the complexion of the collusion grievance".

With the case going to trial, owners, coaches and other team personnel will likely be called to testify during the season.

In October of past year, Kaepernick, who is now 30, filed a grievance against the NFL charging that owners conspired to shut him out of the league in retaliation for the protests.

He initiated the "take a knee" anthem protests in 2016 that swept the National Football League, and have provoked fierce debate in the USA, including criticism from President Donald Trump. He filed a grievance contending that NFL owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests.

Former 49ers safety Eric Reid, who protested alongside Kaepernick and who like his former team mate remains unsigned, also received a warm reception when he was also shown raising a fist at a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The case hinges on whether owners worked together rather than decided individually to not sign Kaepernick. Amid all of it, Williams said athletes - and people in general - should be grateful for the conversations they've started.

But the league and union put that on hold after the Miami Dolphins faced backlash for classifying the protests as conduct potentially detrimental to the team — putting players at risk of fines or suspensions.