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Colin Kaepernick's latest NFL comeback attempt fails

by Margaret Stewart - Managing Editor
Tue, Dec 3rd 2019 03:00 pm
Colin Kaepernick looks to make a throw during a drill at his workout on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia. Kaepernick has not received any contract offers since the workout took place despite reported interest prior to the event.
Colin Kaepernick looks to make a throw during a drill at his workout on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia. Kaepernick has not received any contract offers since the workout took place despite reported interest prior to the event.

Colin Kaepernick has once again made headlines. This time it is for snubbing the NFL despite reported interest in the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

There were two reasons for the renewed interest in the controversial player, according to ESPN.

“The first was that important business partners such as Jay-Z and respected advisers such as legendary sociologist Harry Edwards were pressuring [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell to find a path back for Kaepernick,” ESPN reported. “The second and more important reason was that the league’s football operations department had alerted Goodell to a piece of news long considered unlikely: Two teams were legitimately interested in Kaepernick.”

While there is speculation surrounding the validity of the rumor that two teams are reportedly interested in Kaepernick, the former football player was hopeful about an NFL workout, which would showcase his skills to the 32 teams in the league.

However, at its onset, there were issues regarding the workout’s organization. Kaepernick was not told about the event before it was conceived and did not know who would be participating. When he requested more details about the event, the NFL proved to be uninformative, according to USA Today.

“The NFL did confirm Thursday [Nov. 15] that 11 teams would have representatives there, and ultimately said he [Kaepernick] could bring in his own receivers,” USA Today reported. 

Issues arose when Kaepernick wanted there to be more access, something the NFL seemed unwilling to allow.

“Kaepernick wanted the workout open to the media and for his team to be able to film it,” ESPN reported. “The NFL refused, saying it would be filmed by Atlanta Falcons personnel and the video distributed to all 32 teams.”

The workout would remain confidential, as agreed upon by the NFL and Kaepernick, according to ESPN.

“‘We as the NFL are not going public with this,’” a Kaepernick team member recalls being told. “‘But we cannot control the 32 teams.’ Almost immediately after the call, NFL writers began receiving a text message from the league telling them to be on the lookout for an important email.”

According to ESPN, many of the writers thought the email would be about another controversial NFL player, Antonio Brown, but the email revealed Kaepernick would be participating in a workout Saturday, Nov. 16.

“They didn’t give the 32 NFL teams a heads-up, but they gave the media one? Once they betrayed us on the confidentiality agreement, we knew what this was,” a Kaepernick source reported to ESPN.

Wary of interacting with the NFL on its terms, Kaepernick set up his own workout. He canceled his appearance at the NFL workout scheduled at the Falcons’ facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia and instead hosted his own event at Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia on the same day.

“Our biggest thing with everything today was making sure we had transparency of what went on,” Kaepernick told USA Today. “We weren’t getting that elsewhere, so we came out here.”

As of now, there is very little trust between Kaepernick, his team and the NFL. 

“So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running, stop running from the truth, stop running from the people,” Kaepernick said according to 247sports.com. “Around here, we’re ready to play, we’re ready to go anywhere, my agent Jeff Nalley is ready to talk to any team. I’ll interview with any team at any time.”

One of the largest problems, and one of the reasons for Kaepernick’s original release, is that Kaepernick doesn’t shy away from controversy or politics. Conversely, the NFL is trying to ensure that what players do on their personal time doesn’t interfere or affect what happens on the field. Kaepernick’s very public display of his political beliefs on game day was not something the NFL wanted to condone. For the NFL to believe in Kaepernick and for Kaepernick to forget the organization had tried to censor him and cast him out was unlikely from the beginning.

“To say we’re going to make this about football is one of the dumbest things you can say,” a source close to Kaepernick told ESPN. “It’s not a big deal, it’s the whole deal, because the reason he’s not playing isn’t about football. Everyone knows he can play. It’s the other stuff. You have to deal with the other stuff.”

Kaepernick continues to be politically active, with his most recent appearance and address at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony, more commonly dubbed “Unthanksgiving.” The event, which was hosted on Alcatraz Island, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Native American occupation of Alcatraz, according to Fox News.

With Kaepernick’s determination to remain politically active and visible, in addition to his decision to relocate the workout on such short notice, he hasn’t been approached by any of the 32 teams in the league despite the previous rumors of interest in his services. There is speculation Kaepernick may try to host another workout in the spring, which would help garner more attention before the NFL Draft in April and the summer free agency period. 

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