- Colin Kaepernick’s legal team is expected to seek federal subpoenas to get testimony from President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and others as part of the quarterback’s collusion case against the NFL, according to a report.
- Trump’s stance against protests during the anthem may have influenced some NFL owners, and he has a history of making comments criticising Kaepernick.
- Kaepernick’s legal team would reportedly have to convince an arbitrator of the need for testimony outside of the NFL, and it’s unclear if Trump would comply.
Colin Kaepernick’s legal team may reportedly drag President Donald Trump into the quarterback’s collusion grievance against the NFL.
According to Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, Kaepernick’s legal team is expected to seek federal subpoenas to get Trump to testify on whether he influenced NFL owners against signing Colin Kaepernick.
The subpoenas may also attempt to compel testimony from Vice President Mike Pence and others with knowledge of Trump’s agenda on players who protested during the national anthem, according to Robinson.
Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance last October, alleging teams conspired not to sign him after he kneeled during the national anthem in 2016. He has remained unsigned since becoming a free agent in March 2017.
A report from The Wall Street Journal found that Trump may have influenced NFL owners over the protests during the national anthem. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Trump changed the narrative of the anthem protests last year when Trump implored players to stand for the national anthem and for teams to punish players that did not. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly spoke directly with Trump over the issue.
According to Robinson, the biggest hurdle for Kaepernick’s legal team will be convincing the system arbitrator of the need for testimony beyond the NFL and players union. From Robinson:
“The quarterback’s legal team first must notify the system arbitrator of the need for targeted depositions beyond the boundaries of the agreement between the NFL and the player’s union. That would entail presenting a detailed argument to the system arbitrator overseeing the grievance, spelling out the relevance and impact that testimony from Trump or others could have on the grievance. If the arbitrator rules the testimony would be justifiable, that would open the door for Kaepernick’s attorneys to seek the subpoenas in a district court under the Federal Arbitration Act.”
As Robinson noted, Trump has a history of making comments about Kaepernick that could convince the arbitrator that his testimony would be worthwhile.
From there, Robinson noted, it’s unclear if Trump would comply. According to Robinson, Trump could ignore or decline the subpoena, raising an argument about whether courts can force Trump to provide testimony.
Kaepernick’s legal team has already deposed several NFL owners as part of the collusion grievance. It appears in the coming weeks that the case could grow in magnitude.
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