Colin Kaepernick has added more drama to this current NFL season by this morning filing a lawsuit against NFL franchise owners for his continued exclusion from the league.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been without a club since opting out of his contract with the Santa Clara based club back in March, and has accused franchise owners of colluding to not employ him, due to his infamous stance against racial injustice.
Kaepernick first protested in August 2016, choosing to sit during the American national anthem in a 49ers pre-season game. In following weeks he switched to kneeling, a move wherein he believed he could still show respect to military veterans whilst also protesting racial injustice.
Kaepernick’s stance quickly made him a polarising figure in the media, and whilst many opposed his actions as unpatriotic, a large number also supported his stance, including several high profile sportspeople who joined him in protesting, such as USWNT international footballer Megan Rapinoe.
From September 2016, U.S.A President Donald Trump has waged a war on the NFL and their stars, calling for players who kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner to be sacked by their clubs.
Whilst Kaepernick’s actions have undoubtedly brought more attention to racial injustice in America, some believe that the resulting feud with the president may have damaged the sport.
University of Gloucestershire’s American Football team, Gloucestershire Gladiators, player Nana Darko said, “In the short term, I do think it can have a damaging effect on the NFL. It all depends on how the NFL Commissioner [Roger Goodell] handles the situation. It could potentially cause a negative uprise from fans.”
Kaepernick’s decision to file a collusion grievance against the National Football League could also throw the league into further disrepute, although Darko doesn’t think so.
“I don’t think it will no. One [dealing with the president] has a much greater effect than the other. Kaepernick’s lawsuit could easily be looked over, in my opinion.”