NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick's grievance alleging the league's owners colluded to keep him out is set to go to trial.
The decision was handed down by arbitrator Stephen Burbank on Thursday following an attempt from the NFL to give the case a summary judgment. The statement was shared by Kapernick's lawyer, Mark Geragos, on Twitter.
“On August 28, 2018, the System Arbitrator denied the NFL’s request that he dismiss Colin Kaepernick’s complaint alleging that his inability to secure a player contract since becoming a free agent in March 2017 has been due to an agreement among team owners and the NFL that violates Article 17, Section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the [NFL Players Association] NFLPA,” Burbank said in statement.
The ruling means that NFL owners will likely have to testify about what interactions they've had in regards to Kaepernick's employment in the league.
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in 2016. He was released by the team when the 2016-17 season concluded and has yet to be signed by an NFL franchise since.
Kaepernick filed a grievance against NFL owners in 2017 and alleged that they colluded to keep him out of the league.
Yahoo Sports reported in June that Kaepernick's legal team will attempt to subpoena President Trump and Vice President Pence as part of their case.
The report noted that the subpoenas would likely focus on the Trump administration’s involvement with the NFL since Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017.
Trump has repeatedly railed against NFL players who kneel during the anthem during his time in office.