First Round of a Long Fight Goes to Kaepernick, Defeats NFL Attempt to Dismiss Case

Photo Credit: Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0

Kaepernick has survived the NFL’s first substantive attack on his collusion case as arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled in Kaepernick’s favor and denied the NFL’s bid to dismiss the suit.  The NFL filed a motion for summary judgment, which is a request that a case be dismissed because it fails to raise a genuine issue of material fact.  While this is a positive development, surviving summary judgment is a relatively low bar to overcome; especially in a case like this where there are several material facts in dispute that require a credibility assessment or the weighing of evidence.  Essentially, to prevail, the NFL had to demonstrate that no reasonable fact-finder (jury or, in this case, arbitrator), could find in favor of Kaepernick.  Not at all the case in the matter at hand.  The fact is, almost all legal cases involve a motion, usually by the defendant, to dismiss a case.  It is almost standard procedure.  Thus those of us who support Kaepernick should continue to be optimistic, but not be overly joyed by this decision.  The case still has to go to a full hearing, and this is where a decision in Kaepernick’s favor will be a cause for celebration.  Still, it is an indication that the case is moving along and is hopefully an indication that a date for hearing will be set in the near future. 

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PHILADELPHIA — An arbitrator is sending Colin Kaepernick‘s grievance with the NFL to trial, denying the league’s request to throw out the quarterback’s claims that owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests of social injustice. Kaepernick’s lawyer Mark Geragos tweeted a picture of the ruling by arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank.

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