Colin Kaepernick says ball is in NFL's court after contentious workout: 'Stop running from the truth'

Sporting News

Colin Kaepernick's workout eventually took place Saturday after multiple changes and several rounds of finger-pointing. When it was over, Kaepernick pointed a finger directly at the NFL and team owners.

"I've been ready for three years. I've been denied for three years. We all know why. I came out there and showed it today in front of everybody," he said at the Atlanta-area high school the workout was moved to.

"Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people," Kaepernick added as he referred to commissioner Roger Goodell and the teams.

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MORE: Watch a replay of Kaepernick's workout

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, when he was a member of the 49ers. The quarterback believes he is being blackballed by the league for sitting, and then kneeling, on the sideline during the national anthem before games that year, in silent protest against police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.

Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid filed a grievance in October 2017 against the NFL, claiming collusion by owners to keep them out of the league. The two reached a settlement with the league in February, before the case was to be heard. Reid, a fellow on-field protester, signed with the Panthers in September 2018. He attended Kaepernick's workout Saturday.

NFL Network's Jim Trotter reported that not all of the team representatives who came to watch Kaepernick followed him from the Falcons' facility in Flowery Branch, Ga., to the field at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., after Kaepernick and his representatives decided to move the workout on short notice. Kaepernick's camp said it changed venues because the league was not allowing for full transparency (specifically, media access and suitable video recording) at the Falcons' facility. It also objected to the non-standard injury waiver the league wanted Kaepernick to sign.

The NFL sent a strongly worded memo after the change in location, adding to the public tension between the sides. Kaepernick's reps had previously objected to numerous league actions, including the short notice the league provided about the workout; the workout being scheduled for a Saturday rather the NFL's customary Tuesday, potentially depressing turnout; and that the league would not disclose which teams were attending.

Once Kaepernick got on the field, it was time to evaluate him as a potential signee. Some anonymous observations:

Among the teams that reportedly kept up with Kaepernick and watched the workout: the Eagles, Chiefs, Jets, Redskins — and 49ers. Kaepernick's agent Jeff Nalley said altogether, eight teams were present at the workout, ESPN's Howard Bryant reported.

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