If the Colin Kaepernick grievance hadn’t made the NFL uncomfortable earlier than this week, the extent of angst has apparently risen acutely in current days.
An NFL supply accustomed to discovery requests made this week informed Yahoo Sports that “agitation” over the Kaepernick grievance is already constructing inside the league’s authorized division, which is constructing a protection hand-in-hand with heavy-hitting worldwide regulation agency Covington & Burling.
The supply stated league attorneys fielded a slew of discovery requests this week, together with depositions or data requests involving NFL homeowners, groups or coaches. Among them:
• Deposition and data requests for Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones, New England Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft, Houston Texans proprietor Bob McNair, San Francisco 49ers proprietor Jed York and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
• Records requests for New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch.
• Records requests for the 49ers, Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.
Each request was apparently made with particular dates in thoughts, most referring to a crew’s communications with Kaepernick’s representatives following his entrance into free company in March.
The inclusion of Mara and Tisch probably raised some eyebrows, contemplating the Giants have by no means pursued Kaepernick. A supply accustomed to the request involving the Giants stated it’s rooted in feedback Mara made to Sports Illustrated in May, when he described fan feelings and potential backlash when it got here to doubtlessly using Kaepernick.
This spherical of requests additionally isn’t anticipated to be the final. A league supply informed Yahoo Sports that extra may very well be anticipated within the coming weeks – with the main target touchdown in some sudden locations. The supply stated that communications with or about President Donald Trump may turn out to be an even bigger focus, and that it’s doable that communications between Jones and Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter may turn out to be part of the grievance discovery.
Schnatter made some sudden remarks ripping the NFL’s management within the nationwide anthem controversy this week. That has introduced extra focus to his relationship with Jones, a serious Papa John’s stakeholder, and what function the Cowboys’ proprietor could have had within the statements. Jones has been one of many league’s staunchest critics of nationwide anthem protests this season.
Another attention-grabbing public-relations wrinkle is the league’s use of Covington & Burling in opposition to the grievance. That Covington & Burling is combating for the league is not any shock because the NFL has a decades-long relationship with the agency. But it’s notable that one of many companions at Covington & Burling is former Attorney General Eric Holder, a staunch civil-rights supporter in former President Barack Obama’s administration.
This is similar Holder who tweeted a photograph of Martin Luther King on a knee to President Trump on Sept. 24, with the caption: “Taking a knee is not without precedent Mr. President. Those who dared to protest have helped bring positive change.”
At the least, the deal with Trump and his politics in regard to the anthem protests – to not point out his relationship with NFL homeowners – may show to be an attention-grabbing, if not awkward, dynamic for Holder and his agency.
It stays to be seen how rapidly the NFL responds to the invention requests, however the league’s collective-bargaining settlement requires “expedited” discovery in such a grievance case. A supply stated the expectation for paperwork to be exchanged may very well be a matter of weeks, with the depositions more likely to be executed inside two months.