Panthers' Eric Reid Says NFL's Colin Kaepernick Workout 'Feels Like a PR Stunt'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 06: Eric Reid #25 of the Carolina Panthers before their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Bank of America Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid on Wednesday questioned the motives behind Colin Kaepernick's Saturday workout, which was arranged by the NFL.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the league sent a memo to all 32 teams outlining that Kaepernick would be in Atlanta for what amounts to a one-man combine. He'll do on-field work and an interview.

Reid expressed skepticism about whether teams will genuinely evaluate Kaepernick with the idea of possibly signing him, per ESPN's David Newton: "I'll believe it when I see it. At this point, it feels like a PR stunt."

The 2013 Pro Bowler also referenced Malcolm X to get his point across:

The Ringer's Tyler Tynes reported "the league's messaging came out of the blue":

"[Kaepernick] and his representatives scrambled to rearrange their schedules to fit in the request, but several around Kaepernick wondered why it came in such an urgent manner. For one, a Saturday tryout conflicts with the regular NFL scouting of college football games; for another, forcing high-end NFL personnel to get on flights to and from Atlanta hours before Sunday's kickoffs seems likely to limit the number of attendees. 'It didn't make a whole lot of sense,' the source told me."

Tynes added Kaepernick's camp asked whether the NFL could reschedule the event, but the league said the date was nonnegotiable.

According to NFL Network's Steve Wyche, the goal of the workout may not be to ascertain Kaepernick's viability as a free-agent addition this season. Instead, teams had reached out to the league with the idea of evaluating him as a target for 2020.

Kaepernick last played during the 2016 season. He began protesting during the national anthem before games that year as a way to raise awareness about racial injustice and police brutality. Reid was the first player who joined him in the protest.

Kaepernick and Reid filed grievances alleging NFL teams had colluded to keep them out of the league in response to their social activism. They settled the cases with the NFL in February.

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