Though his battle is far from over, Colin Kaepernick secured an early victory in his collusion case against the NFL.

According to NBC’s ProFootballTalk, arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled in favor of Kaepernick on Thursday when he declined the league’s request to dismiss the case. The 30-year-old athlete filed a grievance against the NFL in October 2017, claiming the organization and team owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his on-field activism.

“On August 28, 2018, the System Arbitrator denied the NFL’s request that he dismiss Colin Kaepernick’s complaint alleging that his inability to secure a player contract since becoming a free agent in March 2017 has been due to an agreement among team owners and the NFL that violates Article 17, Section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA,” Burbank wrote in a statement.

Thursday's ruling means NFL owners will likely be forced to testify under oath.

The former 49ers quarterback created a stir when he began protesting racial injustice by kneeling during pregame anthem ceremonies. Kaepernick was let go from the team at the end of the 2016-17 season and has yet to sign with another franchise.

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