Protesting players request formal mediation with NFL, insist Kaepernick be included

Protesting players request formal mediation with NFL, insist Kaepernick be included

Another player-driven issue has emerged for the NFL with the league office already mulling its response to requests from Colin Kaepernick’s legal team for depositions of owners and electronic records of Roger Goodell and others. A group of protesting NFL players has requested formal mediation with Goodell, league officials and owners to try to “address” the underlying causes of their demonstrations and the NFL’s response to it, according to a league source.

The request specifies mediation, which the players would like to begin the week of Nov. 13 if the NFL agrees to this process. This mediation would replace the series of regular meetings Goodell and some owners have been having with socially-active players. The request was sent to Troy Vincent, the league’s head of football operations who has been a point person with several individual players who have been protesting and engaging with owners. In lieu of that communication, the players believe a more formal process, involving a qualified third party, would best achieve their goals and move this process forward.

Among the group of players to make the request are Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, an outspoken supporter of Kaepernick, and 49ers safety Eric Reid, Kaepernick’s former teammate who was the second NFL player to join the QB’s silent protest last season. 

In addition, these players have formally stipulated that Kaepernick be a party to the mediation. These players have been soliciting Kaepernick’s thoughts on their movement — on field and off — and they also want to show solidarity with the quarterback in his ongoing collusion grievance against the NFL. Kaepernick would attend the mediation if scheduled, according to the source. The NFL declined to comment on any potential mediation on Sunday through a league spokesperson.

In general, such a mediation would involve a former judge or esteemed labor lawyer or expert working with the sides to determine common ground and fostering a positive back and forth about the desires of both parties. In this case, the players are seeking increased involvement from ownership in supporting their causes and understanding their motivations for kneeling during the national anthem, while the league, under increased heat from sponsors and politicians, is seeking to have all players stand during the anthem. 

Source: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/protesting-players-request-formal-mediation-with-nfl-insist-kaepernick-be-included/

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