News broke Thursday concerning the ongoing collusion case against the NFL, filed by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank made the announcement that the case would move onto trial, effectively denying the league's attempt at dismissing the case. Burbank's statement read:
“On August 28, 2018, the System Arbitrator denied the NFL’s request that he dismiss Colin Kaepernick’s complaint alleging that his inability to secure a player contract since becoming a free agent in March 2017 has been due to an agreement among team owners and the NFL that violates Article 17, Section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA.”
At the moment, Kaepernick's former teammate Eric Reid is still waiting on a decision regarding his grievance filed against the NFL alleging collusion on the same grounds as Kap.
In moving forward with his grievance filed against the NFL, Colin Kaepernick's legal team will reportedly seek federal subpoenas for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to testify.
Lawyers for the former quarterback will look to compel testimony from Trump, Pence, and others who are familiar with the president's stance against players who protest during the national anthem. The subpoenas will likely focus on the Trump administration's involvement with the NFL since Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.
Kaepernick has since not been picked up by any teams and hasn't even been offered a workout. The NFL free agent filed a grievance against the NFL alleging that owners colluded to keep him out of the league.
Trump has spoken directly with some NFL owners about the protests, according to Yahoo Sports, with sources telling the publication that those conversations and any pressure exerted on the NFL from Trump officials would shape the subpoenas. Trump has been very vocal both on Twitter and during his rallies that every NFL player should stand during the national anthem and those that do not should be fired.
The league has since enacted a new rule that all NFL personnel on the field must stand during the national anthem and those that don't will be fined and can face further disciplinary action. Players are allowed to stay off the field during the anthem. Both Trump and Pence championed the new rule, with Pence even tweeting the caption "Winning!" attached to an article about how the new policy is a victory for President Trump.
The grievance states that Trump and Pence "engaged in various public relations stunts designed to retaliate against Mr. Kaepernick and other players that have joined in Kaepernick's peaceful protest" and calls Trump "an organizing force in the collusion among team owners in their conduct towards" Kaepernick.
Trump has continued his attack against protesting players, recently disinviting the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles from visiting the White House, instead holding a brief "Celebration of America" event.
Though Trump said he was disinviting the team because of their disagreement on the protest, no Eagles kneeled during the anthem over the past season, but less than ten players were reportedly set to visit the White House while the rest of the team planned to boycott.
Trump, Pence, and others have continued to make Kaepernick's protest about disrespecting the troops but it's important to note why it was originally started. Kaepernick originally sat during the anthem to protest against racism, oppression, inequality, and police brutality against black people. It was a former Seahawks player and veteran, former U.S. Army Green Beret Nate Boyer who told Kaepernick it was more appropriate to take a knee.