Arbitrator rejects NFL request to dismiss Colin Kaepernick′s collusion complaint | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 31.08.2018
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Arbitrator rejects NFL request to dismiss Colin Kaepernick's collusion complaint

An arbitrator has ruled that Colin Kaepernick's collusion case against the National Football League can proceed. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback claims that NFL teams have colluded to deny him employment.

In a statement issued on Thursday, arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank said that he had denied a request from the National Football League to dismiss Colin Kaepernick's (pictured above, center) claim that owners have conspired to keep him off NFL rosters due to his "take a knee" protests against social injustice. Burbank is the arbitrator assigned to resolve disputes between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

"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," Burbank said.

The statement, which was tweeted by Kaepernick's lawyer, Mark Geragos, means that the arbitrator found sufficient evidence for the case to continue and possibly go to trial.

Kaepernick sparked a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, kneeling during the U.S. national anthem to protest against police brutality and racial inequality.

The protests have grown into one of the most polarizing issues in American sports, with President Donald Trump demanding that the league suspend or fire players who demonstrate during the anthem.

Kaepernick's case hinges on whether his legal team can demonstrate that NFL owners conspired to keep him out of the league, rather than independently deciding not to hire him.

pfd/mm (AP, Reuters)

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