Kaepernick’s lawyers could force Papa John to testify, but it won’t be easy

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The knee-jerk reaction to the news that the lawyers handling the Colin Kaepernick grievance would like to question former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter was that the league’s internal arbitration processes have no jurisdiction over Schnatter, and thus he can’t be forced to testify. There’s one significant caveat that applies, however.

Because the grievance will unfold via an arbitration that ultimately falls within the confines of the Federal Arbitration Act, Kaepernick’s lawyers could turn to the courts for the issuance and enforcement of a subpoena that would require Schnatter to appear and to testify. It nevertheless would be a significant ordeal to accomplish, ultimately requiring Kaepernick’s legal team to jump through a variety of hoops in a variety of courts — and to fight both the NFL and Schnatter’s lawyers, pretty much every step of the way.

In the end, the entire grievance could be delayed by as long as six months, all in the name of getting Schnatter to cooperate, against his will. Which means that Kaepernick’s lawyers eventually will have to ask themselves whether whatever Schnatter may say would justify applying the brakes to the entire operation.

The potential opportunity to question Schnatter via a procedure that ultimately falls within the confines of the Federal Arbitration Act raises an intriguing question about the now-resolved Ezekiel Elliott case. Elliott’s lawyers complained that the NFL failed to require his accuser to testify before the league’s arbitrator, claiming that the NFL had no power to compel her to participate. Since the NFL’s internal procedure for resolving player discipline technically constitutes an arbitration within the confines of the Federal Arbitration Act, Elliott possibly could have tried to use the court system to secure a subpoena.

22 responses to “Kaepernick’s lawyers could force Papa John to testify, but it won’t be easy

  1. Can I testify please? To the fact that statistics prove he lives in the least oppressive, richest society in history? That he lives in a country that allowed him to go from foster care to millionaire while playing a game? That offending more than half of your employer’s customer base while on the job is a no brainer for not being hired? That you won’t be allowed to wear a “meat eaters are murderers” t-shirt to work at McDonald’s for minimum wage?

    Oh, please, please, put me on the stand! 🙂

  2. Oh !…the wheels of Justice move so slow and are excruciatingly expensive! What could
    Schnatter possibly say on the Witness Stand, that would garner a Players Contract offer for Kap ?….NOTHING !

  3. This is looking more and more like a fleecing via billable hours. Cater to his “you against the man” ego along with his social media crusade and reputation and they can probably talk him into just about anything. Eventually, they will tell him his chances of winning are extremely remote, just like Elliot’s did…after they squeezed enough money out of his predicament.

  4. For all you naysayers out there, remember when Martin and Malcolm and Ali and Jackie, and all the rest of the civil rights icons in the last century got the lawyers involved? That’s what true leaders do right? Make one meaningless stand (or rather kneel) wear some stupid socks and then call the lawyers cause you’re getting mistreated.

  5. Kaepernick is a joke and needs to find something else to do. He demonstrated diminishing skills in his last few seasons and is a pain in the a$$ and wonders why no team wants to touch him with a ten foot pole. Even his own family has criticized him for his insane actions. Go away Kap, just go away!

  6. I can’t follow the timeline to see how Papa John would have known anything pertaining to Kaepernick. Papa John only got upset after OTHER players were protesting–Kaep wasn’t even in the league at that time. Those other guys were never punished despite Papa clearly wanting them to be. So, the theory is apparently that the NFL told him “We won’t punish these other guys you are complaining about but let us tell you all about our secret collusion against Kaepernick”?

  7. His lawyers are loving this. They are going to spend the next six months trying to get this guy to testify and blow through all of Kaep’s money. What can Papa John say that would prove collusion anyway? Even if he said he told Goodell not to sign the guy Goodell could reasonably say they don’t take personnel decisions from sponsors. His entire case is without merit. If he really wants to know why no team will touch him he should just look in the mirror–while his lawyers laugh about relieving him of all his money.

  8. See kids, an example of what happens when you don’t fix a problem at work and choose to ignore it. The Kneeling Football league thought the protests against the country would go unnoticed. They guessed wrong and are now getting sued for it and it does not appear they have a plan to stop the bleeding as the wound is now a gushing river of of problems. USA! USA!

  9. I can hear the deposition in my head.

    Kap’s Lawyer: Why is my cleint unemployed?
    Papa John: Because he sucks!

    Kap’s Lawyer: Why is my cleint unemployed?
    Goodell’s wife: Because he sucks!

    Kap’s Lawyer: Why is my cleint unemployed?
    Every other GM in the NFL: Becaue he sucks!

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