Report: Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers to seek testimony from Donald Trump
Colin Kaepernick is still in the process of trying to prove NFL owners got together and decided not to sign him because of his national anthem protests, and his attorneys are looking to take the case to the next level.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that Kaepernick’s legal team is expected to seek federal subpoenas that would compel Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other government officials to testify in the free agent quarterback’s collusion case. The goal will be to prove that statements about anthem protests from Trump and his camp directly influenced Kaepernick’s standing with the league.
More from Robinson:
The aim will be a dive into the administration’s political involvement with the NFL during Kaepernick’s free agency and the league’s handling of player protests, sources said. This after recent disclosures that multiple owners had direct talks with Trump about players kneeling during the national anthem. The content of those conversations between Trump and owners – as well as any forms of pressure directed at the league by the administration – are expected to shape the requests to force the testimony of Trump, Pence and other affiliated officials, sources said.
As Robinson notes, there will be a lot of hurdles to clear before Trump could actually be forced to testify. For starters, an NFL arbitrator would have to rule that testimony from Trump and others is relevant to the case. That would allow Kaepernick’s attorneys to seek federal subpoenas under the Federal Arbitration Act. That would only be step one, as Trump could decline and leave it up to a federal judge to determine if the president can be forced to sit for a deposition.
NFL executives have essentially admitted that Trump influenced the league’s new national anthem policy, but that could be a different argument altogether. That doesn’t necessarily prove that teams blacklisted Kaepernick.
If anything, the NFL’s biggest issue could be the poll it reportedly conducted that mentioned Kaepernick by name. While Trump has been incredibly outspoken about the anthem issue, it seems unlikely that the President of the United States will be forced to testify in a case about a free agent NFL player.