News & Politics

NFL Owners Admit They Changed Their Minds About Hiring Kaepernick 'Because of Trump': Lawyer

"Super Bowl-winning coaches... have testified under oath that he’s a starting quarterback in this league, and so that’s mind-boggling."

Photo Credit: White House

Colin Kaepernick's lawyer said on the "Straight Aim" podcast this week that President Donald Trump's opposition to the player's national anthem protests is the reason he was not hired by any NFL team, citing the sworn testimony of several coaches.

Kaepernick's lawyer, Mark Geragos, told the podcast host Amy Dash that the revelations emerged during depositions for Kaepernick's lawsuit against the league owners. The player says that the owners illegally colluded to keep him off their teams despite his talent. The lawsuit says they have "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."

Kaepernick's protest, which consists solely of kneeling while the national anthem is played at games to draw attention to racism and discrimination in law enforcement, drew Trump's ire. Just last week, the league announced it was changing its policy to bar players from kneeling during the anthem.

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"The only reason — and the owners will admit that — they haven’t signed him is they’re afraid of Trump, and they’ve colluded because of Trump,” Geragos said on the podcast. He also said that the owners agree Kaepernick could otherwise be a starting quarterback, were it not for the political controversy.

He added that the league "made the choice they are gonna opt on the white nationalistic side as opposed to any other demographic."

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.