NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick’s legal team will reportedly seek federal subpoenas for President Trump and Vice President Pence to testify in his grievance alleging NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league.
Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s lawyers will look to compel testimony from Trump, Pence and others who are familiar with the president’s stance against players who protest during the national anthem.
Sources told the site that the subpoenas would likely focus on the Trump administration’s involvement with the NFL since Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.
Yahoo Sports noted reports that Trump had spoken directly with some NFL owners about the protests, with sources telling the outlet that those conversations, and any pressure exerted on the NFL from Trump officials, would shape the subpoenas.
Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL owners last year, alleging that they colluded to keep him out of the league.
The complaint invoked Trump’s attacks on protesting NFL players. The president had called for NFL owners to fire those players during a rally last year.
Kaepernick was the first NFL player to start kneeling during the anthem to protest racial injustice.
The grievance states that Trump and Pence “engaged in various public relations stunts designed to retaliate against Mr. Kaepernick and other players that have joined in Kaepernick’s peaceful protest,” and calls Trump “an organizing force in the collusion among team owners in their conduct towards” Kaepernick.
Trump recently renewed his attacks on the protesting players, invoking the protests in his decision this week to cancel the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles White House visit and instead hold a brief “Celebration of America” event. No Eagles players knelt during the anthem over the past season.
The NFL approved a new policy last month requiring players on the field stand during the national anthem. Teams will also be allowed to remain in the locker room during the anthem.
BY JACQUELINE THOMSEN – 06/07/18