In a singificant escalation in the ongoing NFL feud, which one month ago was pushed into overdrive following Trump's slamming of "anthem kneelers", and which now threatens to set players against team owners, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair will be deposed and asked to turn over all cellphone records and emails in relation to the Colin Kaepernick collusion case against the NFL, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports quoting a league source.
Other owners as well as team and league officials also will be deposed in relation to the case, ESPN reports with ABC News adding that other owners to be deposed include the Seattle Seahawks' Paul Allen and the San Francisco 49ers' Jed York. The owners were reportedly selected for depositions based on their public statements about either Kaepernick or sideline protests during the national anthem.
As reported last month, Kaepernick's attorney, Mark Geragos, said that the free-agent quarterback had filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement alleging collusion against signing him to an NFL contract.
The filing, which demands an arbitration hearing on the matter, says the NFL and its owners "have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States."
After filing the grievance, Kaepernick tweeted that he did so "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.'' In other words, Kapernick is certain that it is not only someone else's fault he has been found not worth enough to be drafted by a team, but there is a grand conspiracy against him by evil club owners, meant to keep his great "talent" off the field just to spite him in retaliation for his "resistance" ways.
Ironically, instead of going through the NFL Players Association, the former 49ers quarterback has taken the celebrity approach and hired Geragos, who previously represented such high-profile clients as Michael Jackson, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield and musician Chris Brown.
Kaepernick drew national attention last season when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice. His kneeling led to a movement that has spread through the league while also being vilified, including multiple comments from President Donald Trump. According to many observers, it has also led to a dramatic decline in NFL viewership and led to the withdrawal of at least several prominent advertisers and sponsors, who have made it clear
The 30-year-old has not been with an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March.
In an amusing incident, last month Kaepernick spoke with CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora for an off-camera interview and reportedly said he would go anywhere to work out for an NFL team and was fine if that workout was kept private. Kaepernick said he was looking for an opportunity to play and wanted to be judged as a football player and his agent reached out to all 32 teams to note his availability, ESPN adds. That "hail mary" - attempt, pardon the pun, to get a contract led nowhere.
And so, because it appears that it is precisely because he is being judged as a football player that he is unable to find a job, is also why he has decided to take the legal route and seek what will likely end up being financial compensation and legal remedies for having been put on ice.