Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick files grievance against NFL over alleged collusion

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging the owners colluded to keep him out of the league because of his protests during the playing of the national anthem before games.

The grievance alleges the league's owners "colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice."

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Instead of filing the grievance through the NFL Players Association, Kaepernick has hired attorney Mark Geragos, who has represented several high-profile clients, including Michael Jackson, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield and musician Chris Brown.

Geragos said in a statement given to exclusively to ABC News Sunday night that the grievance was filed "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives."

Kaepernick's goal, he said, was just to be treated fairly and to return to playing football in the NFL, "the league he performed at the highest level for."

The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it had been in contact with Kaepernick for the past year about his options, but only on Sunday learned he had decided to file the grievance, through media reports.

"Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him," the statement said, adding that the union is scheduling a call with his advisers for early this week.

Kaepernick, who has not been with an NFL team since he severed his contract with the 49ers in March, began his silent protest of kneeling during the anthem in the 2016 preseason. He told the media he was protesting against the treatment of blacks in the United States.

Some other NFL players followed his lead during the 2016 season, drawing a mixed response from football fans and the general public, with some supporting the protest and others not.

But Kaepernick's most visible impact seemed to come at the start of this season, even though he himself had not been signed to a team, after President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Alabama slammed NFL players who participate in the protest.

The president told the crowd at the rally on Sept. 22 that teams should fire players who kneel during the anthem.

In response at NFL games over the next few days, many more players kneeled during the anthem or locked arms with teammates and in some cases also with their team's owners.

In his statement, Geragos did not name the president, but referred to Trump's call for protesting players to be fired, saying: "Athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation."

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Oakland A's respond to young fan's heartbreaking letter after home destroyed in fires

Brandon Wade/Getty Images(SANTA ROSA, CA.) -- A young Santa Rosa resident wrote an emotional letter to his favorite professional baseball team, the Oakland Athletics, after his home burned to the ground along with all of his favorite sports memorabilia.

Nine-year-old Loren Jaden Smith wrote to the team:

"I love watching your A's games... I want to be an A's player and I play at Mark West Little League in Santa Rosa. I played baseball in my backyard all day loving the A's and making up my own game. In my backyard they won six World Series in a row. But my house burned down in the Santa Rosa fire and my saddest things were my baseball collection cards... my 17 jerseys and 10 hats and my baseball from the game and also a ball signed by the whole team and Rickey Henderson and Bob Melvin. I am 9-years-old and I had a major league baseball and it all burned up... so sad. I know you are not all together but hope they get this."

ABC News affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco met Loren's family in the wake of the wildfire and tweeted a photo of his letter to the Athletics and the team's president, Dave Kaval.

"This is so touching. So sad to hear about their loss. We would be happy to completely outfit the family in new Athletics gear," Kaval replied to the post.

"It breaks my heart just that he is not going to be back here screaming and yelling home runs that he hit over the fence with the whiffle ball to the neighbors," the boy's father Tait Smith, told KGO, referring to the yard of the family's destroyed home.

Retired A's pitcher Dan Haren reached out on Twitter offering to help the boy's family.

A spokeswoman for the A's said that a meeting between the family and the team has been set for later this week and will likely include a few surprises.

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Packers star Aaron Rodgers breaks collar bone, may miss remainder of season

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke right collarbone during Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings after a hit by linebacker Anthony Barr.

In the first quarter of the game, Barr was chasing Rodgers as the quarterback was looking for a receiver. As Rodgers threw the ball, Barr hit him in the midsection driving him to the ground. Rodgers hit the ground on his throwing shoulder.

The team said Rodgers could miss the remainder of the season.

Backup quarterback Brett Hundley took over for Rodgers in the 23-10 loss. Green Bay is expected to promote Joe Callahan from the practice squad to serve as Hundley's backup.

In 2013, Rodgers broke his left collarbone and missed seven starts. He is expected to miss the rest of this season because he broke the collarbone in his throwing arm.

In six games this season, Rodgers threw for 1,385 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Green Bay fell to 4-2 on the season.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/15/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:


L.A. Dodgers 4, Chi Cubs   1


Vegas 3, Boston 1
Buffalo 3, Anaheim 1
L.A. Kings 3, N.Y. Islanders 2

Washington 26, San Francisco 24
Chicago 27, Baltimore 24; OT
Houston 33, Cleveland 17
New Orleans 52, Detroit 38
Minnesota 23, Green Bay 10
Miami 20, Atlanta 17
New England 24, N.Y. Jets 17
Arizona 38, Tampa Bay 33
L.A. Rams 27, Jacksonville 17
Pittsburgh 19, Kansas City 13
L.A. Chargers 17, Oakland 16
 N.Y. Giants 23, Denver 10

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/14/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

Houston 2, N.Y. Yankees 1

L.A. Dodgers 5, Chicago Cubs 2

Philadelphia 8, Washington 2
Pittsburgh 4, Florida 3
Tampa Bay 2, St. Louis 1
Winnipeg 2, Carolina 1
OT Toronto 4, Montreal 3
New Jersey 3, N.Y. Rangers 2
Dallas 3, Colorado 1
OT Columbus 5, Minnesota 4
OT Chicago 2, Nashville 1
Boston 6, Arizona 2
Calgary 5, Vancouver 2
Ottawa 6, Edmonton 1
N.Y. Islanders 3, San Jose 1
L.A. Kings 4, Buffalo 2

(1) Alabama 41, Arkansas 9
(4) Georgia 53, Missouri 28
Arizona St. 13, (5) Washington 7
(6) TCU 26, Kansas St. 6
(7) Wisconsin 17, Purdue 9
(9) Ohio St. 56, Nebraska 14
LSU 27, (10) Auburn 23
(11) Miami 25, Georgia Tech 24
(12) Oklahoma 29, Texas 24
(13) Southern Cal 28, Utah 27
(14) Oklahoma St. 59, Baylor 16
OT (17) Michigan 27, Indiana 20
(18) South Florida 33, Cincinnati 3
Boise St. 31, (19) San Diego St. 14
(20) NC State 35, Pittsburgh 17
(21) Michigan St. 30, Minnesota 27
(22) UCF 63, East Carolina 21
(23) Stanford 49, Oregon 7
West Virginia 46, (24) Texas Tech 35
Memphis 30, (25) Navy 27

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/13/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

Houston 2, N.Y. Yankees 1


Charlotte 111, Dallas 96
Cleveland 113, Orlando 106
Washington 110, N.Y. Knicks 103
Toronto 125, Chicago 104
Memphis 142, New Orleans 101
San Antonio 106, Houston 97
Philadelphia 119, Miami 95
Milwaukee 107, Detroit 103
Phoenix 114, Brisbane Bullets 93
Portland 129, Haifa Maccabi 81
Golden State 117, Sacramento 106
L.A. Lakers 111, L.A. Clippers 104

Washington 5, New Jersey 2
Columbus 3, N.Y. Rangers 1
Colorado 3, Anaheim 1
Ottawa 6, Calgary 0
Detroit 6, Vegas 3


Syracuse 27, (2) Clemson 24
California 37, (8) Washington St. 3

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/12/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores from today's sports events:

Chi Cubs 9, Washington 8

Tampa Bay 5, Pittsburgh 4
Florida 5, St. Louis 2
Nashville 4, Dallas 1
Minnesota 5, Chicago 2
Winnipeg 4, Vancouver 2
Detroit 4, Arizona 2
San Jose 3, Buffalo 2

Philadelphia 28, Carolina 23

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NFL commissioner's wife was using anonymous tweets to defend him

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's wife has been using an anonymous Twitter account to defend her husband.

Jane Skinner Goodell called the use of the account a passionate act done out of love.

"It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration -- and love," Jane Skinner Goodell said Thursday afternoon in a written statement to the Wall Street Journal. "As a former media member, I'm always bothered when the coverage doesn't provide a complete and accurate picture of a story. I'm also a wife and a mom. I have always passionately defended the hard-working guy I love -- and I always will. I just may not use Twitter to do so in the future!"

The Journal's investigation of the Twitter account @forargument, found that Goodell had used the account 14 times to defend her husband. The account has since been deleted from Twitter after the Journal's publication of the story.

Last month, when NBC Sports blog Pro Football Talk tweeted it was "on the commissioner" to mollify the recent national anthem controversy, Goodell used the account to reply.

"Please do better reporting," Jane Skinner Goodell, a former anchor for Fox News before her retirement in 2011, tweeted. "He is already doing this. You are behind."

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Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliot suspension restored by federal appeal court

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(FRISCO, Texas) -- A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court's injunction in the case of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Court also directed the district court to dismiss the NFL player's union's lawsuit which was filed on Elliott's behalf. Elliott's suspension will begin immediately. The NFL can now impose its 6-game suspension of Elliott.  

The Cowboys are currently on a bye week, so Elliott would miss the games against the San Francisco 49ers, the Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Falcons, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Chargers. He would be eligible to return in Week 13 against the Redskins.

Following the court's decision, Elliott's attorney said in a statement, “We are currently exploring all of our legal options and will make a decision as to what is the best course of action in the next few days. Until that time we have no further comment on the 5th circuit’s decision.”

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John Farrell out as Red Sox manager 

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(BOSTON) -- After five seasons as manager for the Boston Red Sox, John Farrell is out of a job. Farrell lead the team to back to back division titles for the first time in franchise history but also consecutive first-round playoff elimination.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced Wednesday that Farrell was dismissed with one year left on his contract.
In a statement, Farrell thanked the Red Sox's ownership group, the team's front office and Boston's coaches, players and fans.

"Despite an end to this season that we all wanted to be different, I am proud of this ball club and the resiliency shown," Farrell said in the statement. "I have enjoyed every moment of this job -- its peaks and its valleys. There are few, if any, positions in life that create so much passion on a daily basis."

Farrell had a 432-378 record over his five-year tenure that included a World Series championship in 2013 and two last-place finishes. He is the only Red Sox manager to win three American League East crowns and ranks sixth on the club's all-time wins list.

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