Arbitrator sends Colin Kaepernick's grievance against NFL to trial
By Rob Maaddi
Aug 30, 2018 at 5:40 PM
PHILADELPHIA — An arbitrator is sending Colin Kaepernick's grievance with the NFL to trial, denying the league's request to throw out the quarterback's claims that owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests of social injustice.
Kaepernick's lawyer Mark Geragos tweeted a picture Thursday of a ruling by arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank.
The former 49ers quarterback argues that owners have colluded to keep him off any NFL roster since he hit free agency in 2017.
Kaepernick began a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. The protests have grown into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during the anthem.
Kaepernick contends the owners violated union rules by conspiring to keep him off of teams.
The Ravens considered signing Kaepernick in summer 2017 when starting quarterback Joe Flacco was dealing with a back injury that would keep him out for the entire preseason.
At a fan forum, owner Steve Bisciotti said the organization had consulted with everyone from season-ticket holders to former players — including Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis — on the possibility of signing the controversial quarterback.
The story took another twist when Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, posted an image on Twitter that seemed to equate Lewis and Bisciotti’s relationship with that of a slave and his master.
The Ravens ultimately backed away from signing Kaepernick, and Lewis said Diab’s tweet was a factor.
Earlier this year, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh were interviewed for Kaepernick’s collusion case.