NFL 'disappointed' as Kaepernick abandons league's workout for his own
The NFL was irked when Colin Kaepernick backed out of the workout it had arranged for him less than an hour before it was supposed to begin.
"We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout," the league wrote Saturday in a statement obtained by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. "He informed us of that decision at 2:30 p.m. today along with the public."
Kaepernick was scheduled to showcase himself at 3 p.m. ET at the Atlanta Falcons' practice facility. He pushed the workout back one hour and moved it to Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia, after he and the league failed to fulfill the conditions each side set forth.
Representatives from 25 teams showed up at the Falcons' facility for the workout, along with coach Hue Jackson, who was supposed to lead it. Jackson left for the airport after the late changes were announced, while most teams didn't make the trip to Riverdale.
The following comes from the NFL's statement:
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 wavier 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 a 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.
The NFL sent Kaepernick the workout invitation on Tuesday.
The quarterback hasn't played since 2016, when he became a polarizing figure as a result of his social injustice protests during the national anthem.
"We're waiting for the owners and Commissioner (Roger) Goodell to stop running from the truth," Kaepernick told reporters after the workout, according to Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports.
The NFL said Kaepernick's decision has no effect on his status in the league, and he remains eligible to sign a contract with any team.
"I've been ready," Kaepernick said of his desire to re-enter the NFL, via ESPN's Adam Schefter. "I'm staying ready. And I'll continue to be ready ... The ball's in their court. We're ready to go."