For fans of American football, the coming days are special.
NCAA college football has returned to America for the 2018 season. In certain parts of our great nation this isn’t merely a happenstance. This is a celebration. The tailgates, the attire, the parties, the games, (of course), and the lifestyle has returned. The ribbing of your friends and family on Sunday afternoons will be back as well, as college ball always seems to find a way to bring us an entertaining upset with some regularity.
But, beyond the horizon of the Chick Fil A Kickoff Game is the looming NFL season, where we once again have to decide whether being offended by bratty millionaires is somehow worth the endless commercial breaks and droll announcers phoning it in night after night.
Colin Kaepernick, the first player to kneel during the National Anthem in protest of “racial injustice”, will be back in action as well…just not on the football field.
Instead, Kaepernick will be squaring off against the NFL upper brass in court.
Colin Kaepernick’s allegation that the NFL colluded to deny him a contract as punishment for his lead role in player protests will get a formal hearing after an arbitrator denied the league’s request for a summary judgment.
Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, tweeted out a photo of the letter received from arbitrator Stephen Burbank on Thursday. ESPN reports that the National Football League declined to comment.
In October of last 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.
In a statement at the time, Geragos said, “principled and peaceful protest … should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government.” He accused the NFL of “collusive conduct.”
Football fans, both current and former, will be quick to point out that Kaepernick was serving as a second-string quarterback on the San Francisco 49er’s at the time of his departure from the game, with few prospects of moving into the premier slot anytime soon.