Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL is expected to reach all the way to the White House as the quarterback and his lawyers prepare to seek federal subpoenas to compel the testimony of President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and others, according to Yahoo Sports. Kaepernick filed a grievance in October against the NFL asserting that teams are colluding against him to deny him a signing opportunity, reports CNN. Once a top-tier quarterback, in 2016 Kaepernick set off a national debate when he began protesting racial injustice in the US by kneeling during the national anthem. He became a free agent last year but wasn’t signed by any team. The subpoenas would be used to examine team owners' ties to Trump, and whether the president exerted undue influence over them. It was recently revealed Trump spoke directly to some owners about the anthem issue.
The president has been very vocal in calling out players who take a knee or sit during the anthem and has stated publicly that owners should fire players who don’t stand during the anthem. Most recently, he canceled a White House visit by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, citing the anthem controversy in a tweet. Kaepernick’s effort to subpoena the president faces a number of complicated legal hurdles, and even if a federal judge finds in favor of Kaepernick, there is still the question of whether the president can be forced to sit for a deposition. It is doubtful he would do it willingly since doing so would expose him to legal risk if he was found responsible for getting Kaepernick blackballed from the league. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners have already been deposed in the case, per CNN. (Kneeling during the anthem was recently banned by the NFL.)