Colin Kaepernick’s collusion claim against the NFL will continue after system arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank denied the league’s request to dismiss the case, Reuters reports.
Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, posted a statement from Burbank on Twitter Thursday, reading: “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.”
The ruling means Burbank found sufficient evidence for the case to continue and perhaps go to trial. The NFL declined to comment on the decision.
Pro Football Talk reports, citing a source, that further discovery is now expected, giving Kaepernick and Geragos more opportunities to gather information supporting their position. Eventually, the case could lead to a hearing in which owners would be required to testify.
Kaepernick, 30, filed the collusion grievance against NFL owners in October after going unsigned as a free agent through the fall of 2017 following his decision to opt out of a contract with the San Francisco 49ers. A number of owners, executives, coaches and other figures have been deposed as part of the grievance, and Kaepernick remains unsigned.
Former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, one of the first players to join Kaepernick in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem in protest, filed his own collusion case against the NFL in May. Reid is also represented by Geragos, although Burbank’s ruling applies only to Kaepernick’s claim, not Reid’s. A former Pro Bowler, Reid also remains unsigned.