NFL Arbitrator: Kaepernick Collusion Case Can Go Forward

Colin Kaepernick
AP Photo/Butch Dill

Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL can proceed. That is the ruling publicly announced by an NFL arbitrator on Thursday.

Stephen Burbank, the arbitrator who heard and reviewed the NFL’s summary judgment aimed at stopping Kaepernick’s collusion case, released a statement outlining the reasons why he allowed the former 49er’s case to go forward:

On August 28, 2018, the System Arbitrator denied the NFL’s request that he dismiss Colin Kaepernick’s complaint alleging that his inability to secure a player contract since becoming a free agent in March 2017 has been due to an agreement among team owners and the NFL that violates Article 17, Section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA.

As Pro Football Talk reports:

A source tells PFT that further discovery is expected, meaning Kaepernick and his attorney Mark Geragos will have more opportunities to gather information about any dealings inside the league that left to Kaepernick being kept out. And the case now appears set to move toward a hearing where NFL owners will be forced to testify about what they’ve directed their teams’ personnel departments to do with Kaepernick.

By the same token, the summary judgment process the league pursued still forced Kaepernick’s attorneys to reveal certain evidence and strategies that they might pursue in the event of a trial. So, even though the summary judgment process failed, the league’s attorneys have a far better understanding of Mark Geragos’ evidence and tactics than they would have otherwise had.

Still, the league no doubt would have preferred the arbitrator had just killed the grievance outright. Burbank’s ruling is still a setback for the league.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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