Whoa, if true https://t.co/LnSK4tePie— Nathan H. Rubin (@NathanHRubin) June 7, 2018
Lawyers for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who engaged in silent protests during the national anthem starting in 2016, are likely planning to subpoena President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Kaepernick began the protest, at first sitting but then kneeling to show respect for the armed forces, to highlight racial disparities that exist in America, specifically in police practices across the nation that treat black or brown people differently than whites. Since his release from the 49ers, the star quarterback has been unable to find another team to sign him.
Kaepernick alleged in a lawsuit that teams across the league conspired against him, essentially blacklisting him and preventing him from playing for any team in the National Football League.
Indeed, there seems to be evidence to support his claim. The NFL sent out a poll, for example, asking Americans their attitudes specifically on Kaepernick and his protests’ aims. There’s also recordings of league owners from October 2017 that show they were scared of continued rants made by Trump against Kaepernick and other players who kneeled during the anthem.
Kaepernick’s lawyers want to know more about Trump’s and Pence’s roles in influencing league owners and officials. It’s been documented that Trump spoke directly to several owners in the league, and if he did, Kaepernick’s legal counsel wants to know what exactly was said, and how it impacted their client’s chances of getting hired.
All of this is because the NFL didn’t have a backbone and refused to stand up to Trump’s rants about Kaepernick and other players. The president’s criticisms and insistence on silencing players’ concerns is alarming. His blatant racism against players is similarly disturbing and definitely not worth standing behind.
Why the league would choose to side with this president and not its players is something every player in the NFL should question. Fans should also be alarmed by the league’s insistence to quell players' First Amendment rights, following their implementing strict new rules requiring every player on the field to stand during the anthem.
Hopefully, Kaepernick’s lawyers will be successful in their subpoena requests, so that more answers can come forward.