Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Kraft's reported involvement in Colin Kaepernick's NFL collusion case makes perfect sense

Alex Reimer
November 06, 2017 - 2:28 pm

The news last week about Robert Kraft being ensnared in Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL was surprising at first. Kaepernick’s attorneys want Kraft to surrender his emails and phone records to see if there’s been collusion against their client, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Kraft’s inclusion is seemingly curious, because unlike other owners who are expected to be deposed, such as Jerry Jones and Bob McNair, Kraft hasn’t publicly condemned the protest movement. Instead, he’s expressed support for his players to act how they wish when the “Star-Spangled Banner” is played before games. 

The Patriots also weren’t looking for a quarterback last offseason, meaning they probably didn’t even think about pursuing Kaepernick. 

But that doesn’t mean Kraft, who sits on multiple league committees, lacks knowledge of any possible collusion case against Kaepernick. The Patriots owner is also close with President Donald Trump, which is likely the main reason Kaepernick’s legal team is interested in perusing his communication with other league officials.

On March 20, Trump bragged at a rally about his perceived influence in Kaepernick’s unemployment. “It was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump,” the president said. “Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that.”

As Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson notes, Kraft was on Air Force One with Trump the day before those comments. Kaepernick’s camp could be looking for any evidence that Trump’s boasting was tied to conversations he had with Kraft that day. After all, the Commander-in-Chief has a habit of blurting out what he’s last heard.

It’s apparent Jones has communicated with Trump regarding the anthem protest issue. Last month, Jones thanked the President for inspiring him to require Cowboys players stand for the national anthem. Trump responded with a salute to Jones on Twitter.

It’s unlikely Kaepernick’s lawyers will find any tangible evidence of collusion, or that billionaire owners will agree to hand over their communication records. But Trump will likely be at the center of their case, and as a result, Kraft is involved. 

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