Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance of collusion against the NFL’s owners under the collective bargaining agreement, report several news agencies. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman first reported the news on Sunday afternoon, adding that the free agent quarterback has hired high-profile attorney Mark Geragos as his attorney instead of using the NFL Players Association. “If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest – which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago – should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government,” said a statement from the former San Francisco 49ers’ legal team. “Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation. Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance. Colin Kaepernick’s goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field.” The NFLPA also released a statement on Sunday, saying it has a “duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him.”