Colin Kaepernick, the National Football League player that started protesting by sitting and kneeling during the National Anthem, is looking to subpoena President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to testify in his collusion case against the league’s team owners, ESPN reports.
According to the story, Kaepernick’s attorneys are trying to issue federal subpoenas to both Trump and Pence because of conversations they may have had with the owners of various teams demanding action against players that took part in the police brutality and racial injustice protests.
Players on other teams followed suit and began protesting during the opening of games, drawing Trump’s ire.
Trump openly chastised the players and suggested that team owners fire the protestors, and that members of the public should boycott the games.
He said that the players were not respecting the flag and the country by not standing.
According to published reports, the league saw a significant drop off in game attendance and viewership on television.
ESPN reported that the league decided on a policy to penalize players that protested on the field by requiring them to stand for the anthem.
Protesting players and staff members would be allowed to stay in the locker room during the game’s opening moments.
Kaepernick has not played since leaving the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent in 2017, and believes that the owners colluded not to sign him because of the protests.
ESPN’s report said that Kaepernick filed a federal arbitration case regarding the collusion and that owners testified that several talked with either Trump or Pence about the situation.
Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones testified about one conversation with Trump where the president said it was a winning issue for him.
“This is very winning, strong issue for me,” The Wall Street Journal reported that Jones said Trump told him during a phone call. “Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.”
In addition to the Cowboys, the Journal’s story said Trump also spoke to New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft and Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross about the issue.
The report said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was also deposed in the case.
According to the report, these conversations between several of the owners, Trump and Pence, “factored into” the league’s decision.
Under the current policy, teams, individual players, and staff members can be fined for taking part in the protests by not standing for the anthem, according to the report.