To: The National Football League
State AGs: Investigate NFL Blacklist Of Colin Kaepernick
The NFL should not be able to deny a qualified player because of his political views while taking public money to subsidize their business profits.
Why is this important?
The New York Times recently reported on audio they received of an October 2017 meeting between NFL owners and players in which player representatives said they believed Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who started the “take a knee” protests, was being blackballed by the league’s owners.
There is some evidence to support that theory.
This raises several issues. First of all, the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of political viewpoint. NFL rules (which are guidelines) also require players to stand at attention during the national anthem. They claim the right to do so as private-sector employers.
However, several states (including some with NFL teams) have laws against blacklisting former employees. Colin Kaepernick is uniquely affected by blacklisting, because there is only one National Football League in the United States.
Another issue is that the owners made clear in the Times report that they were not eager to attract further criticism from Donald Trump. But that brings us to 18 U.S. Code § 227, which states that no employee of the legislative or executive branch can wrongfully influence employment decisions.
Kaepernick is currently involved in a civil suit accusing the NFL of collusion, but this is also a serious public matter that chilled freedom of speech. President Trump has no legal right to prevent Kaepernick from making a living in his specialized area. The NFL shouldn’t get to have it both ways by clamping down on political views as private employers while taking public funds for their stadiums.
Sign the petition if you agree that the Attorneys General in the states that host an NFL franchise should investigate this case and protect players from viewpoint discrimination.
You may also contact your Attorney General or State’s Attorney directly in the following states where NFL teams are located: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, TN, TX, WA, and WI. The National Football League’s office is in New York.
Inside the Confidential N.F.L. Meeting to Discuss National Anthem Protests, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/sports/nfl-owners-kaepernick.html
NFL Anthem Protests: Protected Concerted Activity, https://onlabor.org/nfl-anthem-protests-protected-concerted-activity/
Colin Kaepernick can score big in NFL collusion case, Judge Nap explains,
Can President Donald Trump Legally Command the NFL To Suspend, Fire Players? https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/09/24/donald-trump-nfl-comments-fire-players-protests
Colin Kaepernick Sentenced to NFL Limbo for the Crime of Speaking His Mind, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2698098-colin-kaepernick-sentenced-to-nfl-limbo-for-the-crime-of-speaking-his-mind
18 U.S. Code § 227 - Wrongfully influencing a private entity’s employment decisions by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch,