At least three NFL owners—the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, New England Patriots’ Robert Kraft and Houston Texans’ Bob McNair—will be asked to turn over communications related to the collusion case brought forward by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Adam Schefter of ESPN noted Friday those owners are being deposed for cellphone records and emails in connection with the case. He added “other owners, teams and league officials also will be deposed” as part of the case, but the names listed above are confirmed at this time.
Mark Geragos, Kaepernick’s attorney, confirmed last month a collective bargaining agreement grievance was filed that said league owners colluded against the QB after he started a trend by refusing to stand for the national anthem during the 2016 preseason, per Ahiza Garcia of CNNMoney.
Geragos said in a statement they moved forward with the claim “only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”
Kaepernick, who’s remained unsigned since opting out of his contract with the Niners in March, explained his decision to protest during the anthem to Steve Wyche of NFL.com in August 2016.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Many athletes from across every level of sports later followed his lead.
Controversy around the topic reignited in September when United States President Donald Trump suggested NFL owners should fire players who don’t stand for the anthem before games.
A September poll from CNN showcased the divide as 49 percent of respondents called protests during the anthem the “wrong thing” to do and 43 percent called it the “right thing.”