The Center for American Progress reports [thinkprogress.org]
Last month, the NFL announced a new policy for its players during the national anthem: Players are permitted to stay in the locker room during the anthem, but if they go out onto the field during it, they must stand. If any of the players takes a knee, the team will be fined.
Soon afterwards, a Wall Street Journal report [wsj.com] confirmed what most have long suspected: That President Donald Trump's public outrage about NFL players protesting police brutality and systemic racism during the national anthem at football games heavily influenced NFL owners to change the rule, and discouraged them from signing players who would protest.
It's all terrible news for those in favor of free speech and peaceful protest, and for those against white nationalism and police brutality.
However, Mark Geragos, the lawyer representing Kaepernick in his collusion lawsuit against the NFL, [...] believes [nbcsports.com] [...] that Trump's direct influence over NFL owners on this issue violates federal law. U.S. Code 227 [twimg.com] [which] says that members of Congress or the executive branch cannot "wrongfully influence a private entity's employment decision ... solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation".
A few revelations from the last couple of weeks strongly support Geragos' case here, and it's important to remember that Geragos knows much more about the case than we do--he has taken the depositions of more than a dozen NFL owners, while the public only knows about the depositions that have leaked.
[...]Of course, influencing the private hiring decisions of a company isn't the only part of U.S. Code  that needs to be proved; it would also have to be shown that Trump did it for partisan political purposes.
That sounds trickier to prove, but in this case, that's not necessarily true.
First of all, Trump's comments were made at a political rally supporting an Alabama Republican candidate for US Senate--an expressly partisan environment. And according to the WSJ, Trump told Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in private conversations that the issue was a "winning" one for him.
Previous: NFL: New National Anthem Rule; NY Jets CEO: Break the Rule and I'll Pay the Fine [soylentnews.org]