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Colin Kaepernick and his legal team are driving inside NFL territory , forcing the league and its 32 teams to brace for a defensive stand.An arbitrator is sending Kaepernick's grievance with the NFL to trial, denying the league's request to throw out the quarterback's claims that owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests of social injustice.Kaepernick's lawyer Mark Geragos tweeted a picture Thursday of a ruling by arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank. The NFL declined a request for comment.Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance and NFC championship game in consecutive seasons, argues that owners have colluded to keep him off any NFL roster since he hit free agency in 2017.Burbank's decision means there was sufficient evidence of collusion to keep Kaepernick's drive going.Now some owners, coaches and team executives will be called to testify during the season, a situation the league hoped to avoid.Kaepernick began a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. The protests have grown into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during the anthem.Kaepernick contends the owners violated their collective bargaining agreement with players by conspiring to keep him off teams.The case hinges on whether owners worked together rather than decided individually to not sign Kaepernick.A similar grievance is still pending by unsigned safety Eric Reid, who played with Kaepernick in San Francisco and joined in the protests.Meanwhile, the league and players union still haven't resolved whether players will be punished this season if they choose to kneel or demonstrate during the national anthem.Owners approved a policy requiring players to stand if they are on the sideline during the national anthem, allowing them to stay off the field if they wish.But the league and union put that on hold after the Miami Dolphins faced backlash for classifying the protests as conduct potentially detrimental to the team — putting players at risk of fines or suspensions. It will be a Rose Bowl of firsts when No. 5 Ohio State faces No. 9 Washington.The Buckeyes and Huskies will meet for the first time in the Granddaddy of Them All, despite each team making its 15th appearance. The Big Ten and Pac-12 champions will meet for the first time since 2014 and for the first time since the introduction of the College Football Playoff the following year. Urban Meyer and Chris Petersen will each be making his first appearance in the game as a head coach.New additions to old traditions mean the Rose Bowl is no consolation prize for teams that had national championship aspirations."I think this is how it's supposed to be," Washington running back Myles Gaskin said Wednesday as the teams visited the Disneyland Resort.For Ohio State (12-1) , visits to Pasadena have been few and far between in spite of their success this century. The Buckeyes won their ninth conference title since 2002 this season but are playing in the Rose Bowl for just the second time in that span.Jim Tressel led Ohio State to a 26-17 win over Oregon in the 2010 Rose Bowl for his only appearance in the storied game, and Meyer's third Big Ten title team is bringing him to California for the first time. Ohio State won the inaugural CFP after the 2014 season, and the Buckeyes defeated Southern California in the Cotton Bowl last season with the Rose Bowl hosting what would be an instant classic semifinal between Georgia and Oklahoma.Meyer is set to retire after the Rose Bowl and said his career would have felt incomplete without leading a team in the first and oldest bowl game."To never have the opportunity to coach in the Rose Bowl and say I'm done, that would have been very hard," Meyer said.Washington (10-3) is making its first visit to the Rose Bowl since the 2000 season after winning its second Pac-12 title in the past three seasons. Gaskin said it would be a refreshing change of pace to enjoy the perks associated with the game, including a trip to the two Orange County theme parks and dinner at a Beverly Hills steakhouse, instead of the more regimented focus going into the semifinal at the Peach Bowl in 2016.Gaskin struggled to recall what the Huskies did two years ago."We didn't go to Disneyland," Gaskin said. "I an't go on no roller coasters, either, so it's definitely different. It's definitely a lot more fun."Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller prefers the current itinerary to what Buckeyes coach Woods Hayes put together in the 1950s, 60s and 70s by having his players stay sequestered at a monastery instead of a hotel and often skip the annual Beef Bowl dinner at Lawry's Prime Rib."That would be a little too quiet," Fuller said. "If I wanted to step out and go to the mall or something, I don't know if a monastery would be close to a mall or anything like that."Both Fuller and Gaskin said the Rose Bowl still resonates with younger generations of football players Womens Mike Person Jersey , though their memories of the game might be more likely to include Texas quarterback Vince Young than games between the Big Ten and Pac-12 representatives.Fuller said the importance of the Rose Bowl helped Ohio State get over the disappointment of not being selected for the CFP in "probably, like, five minutes. Definitely disappointed that we couldn't made it, but going to the Rose Bowl is a blessing. Winning a Big Ten championship is a blessing, too, so I really can't ask for anything else out of this season," Fuller said."I would say we know how important, how big this game is," Gaskin said. "I think we're going to learn some more history of it as this week goes on, but just being able to say we're playing in the Rose Bowl is great enough."

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