VERIFY: Does Colin Kaepernick have a case against the NFL?

President Trump slammed the The NFL's decision to keep allowing players to kneel during the National Anthem. For more on the story here is Zachary Devita.

PHOENIX - Colin Kaepernick wants a job and feels like his role in initiating the national anthem protest is why he doesn't have one.

Kaepernick's attorney Mark Geragos has filed a grievence under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement against NFL owners for collusion. 

The CBA prohibits owners from conspiring against a player and blackballing them from employment, but it also gives owners great protection.

"It would be extremely challenging to prosecute a successful case," says John Balitis, an attorney with Fennemore Graig who specializes in labor and employment law. "Based on the evidentiary standard that's in place and number of owners that would need to take part in the alleged collusion, I think it's going to be quite a challenge."

Kaepernick's attorney will need to provide evidence that at least 14 NFL owners came together to discuss keeping Kaepernick out of the league. Balitis says the number of owners needed is based on the CBA which both the players association and owners agreed upon in 2011. 

"This agreement like it or not, the parties bargained for it, says that 14 or more teams can't conspire to keep a player out of the league," Balitis says. 

Kaepernick is well within his rights to file this grievance against the league, but proving his case could be very difficult. The free agent needs to provide clear and convincing evidence to an arbitration judge.

"Evidence of a meeting or conference call among a group of owners in which they discussed him and collectively agreed to say that nobody should hire him at this point," says Balitis -- in reference to what he would need to prove the case.

It is worth noting that even if Kaepernick did win his grievance, he wouldn't be guaranteed a roster spot. A win would only provide him damages based on the contracts of other NFL quarterbacks this season.  

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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