Unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed a complaint against the NFL claiming team owners are colluding against him to keep him from playing in the league.
Kaepernick initiated football player protests last year at a preseason game and ignited a nationwide protest movement of kneeling or sitting during the National Anthem.
The New York Times reports:
Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who last season started a wave of sideline protests by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, has filed a grievance against the N.F.L., accusing all 32 teams of colluding to keep him out of the league.
The move threatens to escalate a billowing dispute that has galvanized many players who believe the owners are penalizing Kaepernick, who began kneeling to raise awareness of social injustice, including police brutality against black Americans.
Experts cited in the news story say proving collusion among teams is very difficult.
Meanwhile, the players continued to protest during many games yesterday.
ESPN listed the players that decided to protest during the playing of the National Anthem.
The controversy is negatively impacting the league as evidenced by the NFL’s falling TV ratings.
Sporting News reports:
No wonder alarm bells are sounding in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s office.
The league’s average TV audience through Week 5 of the 2017 season dropped 7 percent vs. the same period of the 2016 season, according to Nielsen data obtained by Sporting News. Worse for the league, the average game audiences are down 18 percent compared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season.
The decision by Kaepernick to challenge the NFL will further serve to promote additional protests and harm the league’s brand.