Sports

Owners' cellphone records sought in Kaepernick collusion case

Unsigned QB has filed grievance against NFL

A number of NFL owners will be asked to turn over communications records related to the Colin Kaepernick collusion case against the league.

A league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, among others, will be deposed and asked to turn over all cellphone records and emails in relation to the collusion case brought forward by the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

Kaepernick filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement against the NFL last month, accusing all 32 owners of collusion against signing him to an NFL contract.

Other owners as well as team and league officials also will be deposed in relation to the case, ESPN reported Friday.

ABC News reported other owners to be deposed include the Seattle Seahawks' Paul Allen and the San Francisco 49ers' Jed York. ABC reported the owners were selected for depositions based on their public statements about either Kaepernick or sideline protests during the national anthem.

Kaepernick, who turned 30 on Friday, previously said his agent reached out to all NFL teams to make sure they were aware of his interest in playing this season. He opted out of his contract with the 49ers in the offseason and remains unsigned.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has stated on multiple occasions this season that Kaepernick is not being blackballed.

Kaepernick has been a controversial figure since he first sat and then knelt during the national anthem before games with the 49ers in the 2016 season as a protest to denounce police brutality against African-Americans, social injustice and racial inequality.

NFL owners and executives have been scrambling to determine the best response to players kneeling during the national anthem this season.

A number of players followed Kaepernick's lead by taking a knee during the anthem last year and this season. The movement turned into league-wide protests earlier this season after President Donald Trump made multiple critical comments of players who don't stand for the national anthem.

NFL players who have demonstrated during the national anthem have said they are protesting racial inequality, but not the flag or the anthem itself.

Kaepernick did not go through the NFL Players Association, instead hiring Mark Geragos, who has represented a number of high-profile clients including Michael Jackson and musician Chris Brown.

After filing the grievance, Kaepernick tweeted he filed "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives."


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