Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's lawyer said an NFL owner admitted, under oath, that President Donald Trump's comments about players disrespecting the American flag changed his mind about signing Kaepernick, Sports Illustrated reported.
The lawyer, Mark Geragos, is representing Kaepernick in the former quarterback's grievance against NFL owners, which claims they colluded against him to keep him out of the league because of his protest of kneeling during the national anthem before games.
"This substantiates everything we have thought all along and just proves that they colluded," Geragos said on "Straight Aim" with Amy Dash, a podcast that focuses on legal issues in sports.
What's the story?
On the podcast, Geragos claimed that owners and coaches would admit that Kaepernick should be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but they're scared of incurring Trump's wrath:
In this civil case, there's no doubt that the existing coaches — and I'm talking about Super Bowl-winning coaches — have testified under oath that he's a starting quarterback in this league, and so that's mind-boggling. When you ask them ... specifically why he isn't being hired ... they say because of the national anthem policy.
The only reason — and the owners will admit that — they haven't signed him is they're afraid of Trump, and they've colluded because of Trump.
Geragos did not name the owner he said testified under oath that he didn't sign Kaepernick because of Trump. His comments come just days after the league enacted a policy that it would fine players who did not stand on the field for the national anthem.
What's the background?
Trump, at a rally in Alabama in September, harshly criticized players who kneeled during the national anthem.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now. Out! He's fired! He's fired!'" Trump said.
So far, more than a dozen people have been deposed in the grievance, with some of the known targets including Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Biscotti, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Denver Broncos general manager John Elway.
Those deposed were required to turn over phone and email records related to Kaepernick, who has not played since the 2016 season.