On Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, NFL teams were informed that a private workout for Colin Kaepernick will occur in Atlanta on Saturday. As you probably know, Kaepernick infamously kneeled during the national anthem in the NFL preseason game in 2016, causing controversy around the quarterback and football players in general. While Kaepernick’s decision to kneel was to protest police brutality and racial injustice throughout America, he got a lot of backlash for disrespecting those who are very patriotic or those who fight for the very flag he protested against. Since the end of the 2016 season, Kaepernick has not had an NFL job. Although many NFL executives and coaches try to deny it, the reason Kaepernick hasn’t been let back into the NFL by any franchise is that they don’t want controversy around the team and are worried that it would hurt their financial income. So why is he getting a private workout now?
Although it is certainly a great thing that he is getting a private workout, there are a lot of shady things behind it. For starters, ESPN reported that the NFL had agreed to give Kaepernick and his representatives a list with the attendees but for some reason, an NFL source later told ESPN that no such list was promised and Kaepernick will not be receiving one. But it gets worse, much worse. Kaepernick and his team were given the information on Tuesday morning about the workout. Before NFL teams would be notified of the news later in the evening, Kaepernick’s team had asked if the workout could be held on a Tuesday since it’s the day that NFL teams will typically have more time, thus head coaches and general managers can attend the workout easier without any conflicting schedules. But, the NFL denied this request for seemingly no reason. Kaepernick’s team then tried to give NFL teams more time by asking if the workout could be held next Saturday rather than this Saturday since they would have more time to figure out a solution so they can attend the workout. But again, the NFL decided to not let this change happen. This means that NFL teams will have three days to plan a way to attend the workout. And by the workout being on Saturday, it makes teams less likely to go because they might have to travel for an away game. In other words, the NFL is trying to screw over Kaepernick.
I agree with what Kaepernick’s former teammate, Eric Reid, stated Wednesday. “It feels disingenuous” that the NFL would schedule a workout for the QB on Saturday. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Reid. “At this point, it feels like a PR (public-relations) stunt.” This workout seems more as a way for the NFL to finally get the Kaepernick situation off of their chest, rather than a true way for him to get back to the field.
So far some teams have agreed to send representation to the workout but this story seems to be changing by the minute. Hopefully, all goes well for Kaepernick. While I am mainly a Bears fan, my secondary teams have always been the Falcons and the 49ers since 2011. So I’ve been a huge fan of Kaepernick since 49er days. I really hope I get to see one of my favorite players of all time return to the Gridiron.
If Kaepernick’s workout goes well, who do you hope he signs with? Send me a message and let me know.
By Hugo Vazquez, senior, Brooks College Prep