NFL Commissioner to hand over phone in Kaepernick collusion case

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Attorneys for quarterback Colin Kaepernick are seeking to conduct a deposition with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as part of Kaepernick’s collusion case against the football league, according to unnamed sources. Kaepernick claims that 32 NFL owners have colluded to keep him out of the league as punishment for igniting controversial protests among players.

The attorneys are also requesting depositions with several owners of NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and the Houston Texans’ Robert McNair, and they want certain teams’ electronic communications involving Kaepernick.

A legal insider told ESPN that Goodell, the other owners and at least two NFL executives will have to turn over cellphone records and emails in relation to the case.

NFL owners who will be deposed include Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, New England’s Robert Kraft, Bob McNair of the Houston Texans, Seattle’s Paul Allen and San Francisco’s Jed York. The owners were reportedly selected based on their public statements about Kaepernick or players protesting during the pre-game national anthem, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Discussing how frustrated he is with the way the recent kneeling protests had affected the NFL’s business, McNair was recently slammed for saying the NFL “can’t have inmates running the prison.”

Jones said that he was aware of the case through news reports but had not yet been officially contacted by Kaepernick’s legal team.

Along with Goodell, league executives who will be deposed include executive vice president/football operations Troy Vincent and senior vice president of player engagement Arthur McAfee, the insider told ESPN.

As a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick caused significant controversy by kneeling and sitting during the national anthem as a way of protesting inequality and police brutality against minorities. Fired from the 49ers after the 2016 NFL season, he has been a free agent since March.

At Sunday’s games, more than a dozen NFL players, including Miami’s Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills, and 49ers players Eric Reid, Eli Harold and Marquise Goodwin, kneeled during the anthem.

According to Kaepernick’s lawsuit, “[The owners] 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.”

After filing the lawsuit, Kaepernick said on Twitter that he had done so “only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”

Both New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers have said they believe Kaepernick deserves to be on an NFL roster.

“I think he should be on a roster right now,” Rodgers told ESPN. “I think because of his protests, he’s not.”

Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos believes that his client will soon return to the NFL.

“I think within the next 10 days, somebody will sign him,” Garagos told the Adam Carolla podcast. “I think somebody’s gonna sign him. I think the NFL has to come to their senses and realize every day that goes by just proves the collusion case even more.”

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