NFL owners called for depositions, cellphone records in Colin Kaepernick collusion case

ByABC News
November 3, 2017, 1:25 PM

— -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, among others, will be deposed and asked to turn over all cellphone records and emails in relation to the Colin Kaepernick collusion case against the NFL, a league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Other owners as well as team and league officials also will be deposed in relation to the case, the source said. ABC News reports that other owners to be deposed include the Seattle Seahawks' Paul Allen and the San Francisco 49ers' Jed York.

ABC News reports that the owners were selected for depositions based on their public statements about either Kaepernick or sideline protests during the national anthem.

Jones said he was aware of the suit only through news reports and that he has not been officially contacted by Kaepernick's legal team. Jones said he would do whatever he is advised to do.

"The fact that it is the legal exercise that it is, I can't comment and wouldn't comment about any aspects of it," Jones said. "Having said that, I just have to leave it at that. You might have heard me say some things before the suit, but right now, it's pretty much limited."

Kaepernick's attorney, Mark Geragos, said in October that the free-agent quarterback had filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement alleging collusion against signing him to an NFL contract.

The filing, which demands an arbitration hearing on the matter, says the NFL and its owners "have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States."

After filing the grievance, Kaepernick tweeted that?he did so "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.''

Kaepernick is not going through the NFL Players Association but instead hired Geragos, who has represented several high-profile clients, including Michael Jackson, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield and musician Chris Brown.

The NFLPA has offered Kaepernick its support and reiterated its readiness to assist him, "as we do all players."

Geragos did not reply to a request for comment from ABC News.

Kaepernick drew national attention last season when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice. His kneeling led to a movement that has spread through the league, while also being vilified -- including multiple comments from President Donald Trump.

The 30-year-old has not been with an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March. Sources told Schefter at the time that Kaepernick would stand during the anthem in 2017.

Last month, Kaepernick spoke with CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora for an off-camera interview and reportedly said he would go anywhere to work out for an NFL team and was fine if that workout was kept private. Kaepernick said he was looking for an opportunity to play and wanted to be judged as a football player.?His agent has reportedly reached out to all 32 teams to note his availability.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.