WATCH: House Democrat Threatens NFL’s Anti-Trust Exemption over Treatment of Kaepernick

Getty Images/Win McNamee

The chorus of outrage over Colin Kaepernick’s aborted workout at an NFL organized event last weekend, has now reached the halls of Congress.

Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) not only expressed outrage at the NFL over the workout flap, he also made not-so-veiled threats about retaliating by going after the league’s anti-trust exemption.

Johnson called Kaepernick a “victim,” and said the NFL was persecuting him for exercising his “1st Amendment Rights.”

“It’s possible that Congress can do something,” Johnson explained to TMZ Sports. “Congress oversees the anti-trust exemption that we gave the NFL. The NFL is doing quite well with that anti-trust exemption, maybe it’s time for us to take a fresh look at it.”

The anti-trust exemption dates back to the Kennedy Administration, when the federal government gave sports league’s a special immunity which allowed teams to function together as a monopoly.


If the league were to lose its anti-trust exemption, the result could be a loss of billions.
However, such a move would require widespread congressional support and it’s unlikely that Johnson’s anti-NFL sentiments are widely shared.

Kaepernick ditched an NFL organized workout in front of scouts and representatives from 25 teams, after a disagreement over media availability and liability waivers. Instead, the former 49er and original anthem protester opted to hold a workout at a local Atlanta high school, in front of seven or eight teams.

There is no word as of this writing, as to whether any of the teams who watched Kaepernick have a desire to sign him.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn


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