Kaepernick Skips Workout Organized By NFL, Wears T-Shirt Comparing Himself to a Slave — NFL Responds: ‘We Are Disappointed’
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The NFL catered to Colin Kaepernick by organizing a private workout for the famed anthem-kneeler on Saturday, and invited every team in the league to attend, a memo obtained by ESPN revealed.
The session, according to ESPN, allowed Kaepernick an on-field work and an interview, which would both be taped and made available to all teams. Moreover, the workout was set up to provide teams anonymity, so if they watched Kaepernick and didn’t want him, they wouldn’t catch flack. This was done to encourage more teams to attend the event, thus helping the quarterback secure a position.
But that wasn’t good enough for Kaepernick. The 32-year-old cancelled the workout abruptly on Saturday, about a half hour before the session was supposed to begin, apparently because he wasn’t allowed to bring his own camera crew.
“The workout was originally set for 3 p.m. and was to be held at the Atlanta Falcons’ practice facility in Flowery Branch,” CBS News reported. “At 2:30, representatives for the free agent quarterback informed the league that Kaepernick would instead be conducting the workout at 4 p.m. at Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia.”
After dissing the NFL, Kaepernick, a multimillionaire endorsed by Nike, attended his own workout in a “Kunta Kinte” t-shirt, comparing himself to defiant slave from the movie “Roots.” The film showcases an iconic scene wherein Kunta Kinte is whipped by his master for refusing to acknowledge his slave name, Toby.
A statement from Kaepernick’s agent and lawyer released before the workout blamed a liability wavier and the NFL denying the quarterback the opportunity to bring his own camera crew to the workout for their decision to ditch the event with such little notice.
“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one,” the statement read, according to CBS Sports. “Most recently, the NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives.”
“Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency. The NFL denied this request,” the statement continued. “Based on the prior conduct by the NFL league office, Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process which is why a new location has been selected for today. Mr. Kaepernick looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today.”
According to the NFL, the waiver Kaepernick threw a fit over was a “standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players.”
Moreover, Kaepernick, the NFL claimed, did not inform them of his request to have his own personal camera crew attend the event until Friday night. “We heard for the first time last night, around the same time we heard from Nike, that Colin wanted to bring his own video crew. We heard for the first time this afternoon that Colin wanted to open the event to all media,” the statement said.
Kaepernick began protesting during the national anthem while playing for the San Francisco 49ers “because America ‘oppresses’ minorities and allows its cops to ‘murder’ innocent people of color.”
“People of color have been targeted by police,” the athlete said in 2016, as reported by The Daily Wire. “So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist.”
Kaepernick also wore socks at practice in 2016 that depicted police officers as pigs.
“I wore these socks, in the past, because the rogue cops that are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust,” Kaepernick wrote in defending the “pig cops” socks on Instagram.
The full statement from the NFL can be viewed below:
We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout. He informed us of that decision at 2:30 pm today along with the public.
Today’s session was designed to give Colin what he has consistently said he wants – an opportunity to show his football readiness and desire to return to the NFL. Twenty-five (25) clubs were present for the workout, and all 32 clubs, their head coaches, general managers, and other personnel executives would have received video footage of the interview and workout, shot by the Atlanta Falcons video crew. It is important to note the following:
- As stated above, more than three-fourths of NFL clubs were present for today’s workout.
- The NFL made considerable effort to work cooperatively with Colin’s representatives. We invited his agent to suggest questions for the interview. Yesterday, when Colin’s representatives said he wanted to bring his own receivers to the workout, we agreed to the request. In addition, Coach Hue Jackson discussed with Colin’s agent what drills would be run at the workout so that Colin would know what would be expected of him.
- Last night, when Nike, with Colin’s approval, requested to shoot an ad featuring Colin and mentioning all the NFL teams present at the workout, we agreed to the request.
- On Wednesday, we sent Colin’s representatives a standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players. At noon today, Colin’s representatives sent a completely rewritten and insufficient waiver.
- We heard for the first time last night, around the same time we heard from Nike, that Colin wanted to bring his own video crew. We heard for the first time this afternoon that Colin wanted to open the event to all media.
- We agreed to have Colin’s representatives on the field while the workout was being conducted and to allow them to see how it was being recorded. We did so even though we have been clear from the beginning that this is private workout. As is typical with NFL Combines, one video crew was prepared to shoot and distribute video of the interview and workout. We confirmed with Colin’s representatives that they would receive both the video that would be sent to all 32 clubs as well as the raw footage from the entire event, which is unprecedented.