Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers are expected to seek federal subpoenas in the coming weeks to compel testimony from President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other officials familiar with the president’s agenda on protesting NFL players.
According to Robinson, Kaepernick’s legal team is aiming to dive into the administration’s political involvement with the NFL during Kaepernick’s free agency and the league’s handling of player protests.
This comes after the news that multiple owners had direct talks with Trump about players kneeling during the national anthem including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Sources tell Robinson that the content of these conversations between Trump and owners and any forms of pressure applied by the administration are expected to shape their requests for Trump, Pence and other affiliated officials.
However, Robinson explains that getting testimony from the political sector will create at least one additional hurdle for Kaepernick’s camp, as they first must notify the system arbitrator of the need for targeted depositions beyond the boundaries of the agreement between the NFL and the player’s union.
This would require them to provide a detailed argument to the system arbitrator overseeing the grievance, spelling out the relevance and impact that testimony from Trump or others could have on the grievance.
From there, they could seek the subpoenas in a district court under the Federal Arbitration Act if the arbitrator rules the testimony would be justifiable.
There are others issues such as whether the president can actually be compelled by the courts to sit for a deposition. Robinson says that Trump could simply ignore the order or decline it outright, which would require the justice system to enforce the subpoena.
Kaepernick, 30, is a former second-round pick of the 49ers back in 2010. He was in the third year of his seven-year, $126.97 million contract that included $61 million guaranteed when reached an agreement with the 49ers on a restructured deal.
Kaepernick visited with the Seahawks last year but left Seattle without an agreement. Seattle was reportedly considering signing him to a contract again this offseason, but later canceled a scheduled visit.
In 2016, Kaepernick has completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns and four interceptions, while adding 468 yards rushing. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 27 quarterback out of 36 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Kaepernick’s case against the NFL as the news is available.