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The NFL is making Colin Kaepernick put up or shut up on collusion grievance

The NFL has cited a rule in the collective bargaining agreement to force Colin Kaepernick's team to prove the collusion case against NFL owners should go forward. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Colin Kaepernick and his legal team will have to show evidence justifying the continuation of the former quarterback's collusion grievance against NFL owners, according to Yahoo Sports.

Kaepernick, who has maintained that NFL owners worked together to keep him out of the NFL because of his protests during the national anthem, will have to present an argument that shows evidence "sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact capable of satisfying" the allegation.

What did the NFL do?

Yahoo Sports reported that the NFL has cited Article 17 of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, which requires the arbitrator, Stephen Burbank, to determine whether there is enough evidence to keep this case going.

Kaepernick's team has gathered 14 depositions, including emails and text messages from prominent league figures such as Commissioner Roger Goodell and team owners Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, among others.

If, after the Kaepernick team provides the required materials, Burbank doesn't believe there is enough evidence, he can provide a summary judgement to end the case completely. If he believes there is enough evidence, it could move forward, potentially with more depositions.

As described by Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson:

"In no uncertain terms, the request is the most pivotal moment in the nearly nine months of discovery and depositions between the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and the NFL. With the league’s request for summary judgement, Kaepernick’s legal team will now have to file an argument with discovery or deposition material that supports the case continuing."

Is there a Trump angle?

After depositions revealed that NFL owners considered President Donald Trump's opinions and comments in their decision on whether to sign Kaepernick, Kaepernick's team was expected to pursue subpoenas of Trump and members of his administration.

Whether Trump becomes involved in the grievance will depend on whether Burbank allows the case to continue. Meanwhile, Kaepernick remains a free agent, with no real momentum toward restarting his NFL career.


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