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Roger Goodell: Colin Kaepernick Chose Not to Take 'Unique' Workout Opportunity

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)
Todd Kirkland/Associated Press

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the situation that led to Colin Kaepernick skipping last month's workout organized by the league in order to organize his own workout.

Per The MMQB's Albert Breer, Goodell called the workout a "unique" and "credible opportunity" that Kaepernick "chose not to take, and I understand that.”

Kaepernick initially agreed to take part in a Nov. 16 workout in front of scouts and executives for teams after the league reached out to his representatives on Nov. 12. 

The move came in the wake of multiple teams inquiring about Kaepernick's readiness to play in the NFL following a three-year absence, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

On the day of the event, Kaepernick's representatives issued a release to the media that they were changing the location of the workout "because of recent decisions made by the NFL."

The two main points of objection from Kaepernick's camp, per the release, included him wanting full transparency including the presence of media and an independent film crew present to shoot the workout and the NFL requiring him to sign "an unusual liability waiver that [adressed] employment-related issues" while rejecting "the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives."

Per Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, the waiver provided by the NFL that Kaepernick was required to sign prior to the workout included language that "could be used to bootstrap a waiver intended to protect the NFL and all related parties against a personal injury lawsuit into a silver bullet that would defeat from the get go any claims for collusion or retaliation related to Kaepernick’s ongoing unemployment."

Kaepernick held his workout at a high school just outside of Atlanta. He also addressed the media afterward, thanking scouts from the NFL teams who attended and said he was waiting for all 32 owners, along with Goodell, to "stop running from the truth."

Per ESPN's Howard Bryant, as of Nov. 26, no one from Kaepernick's camp has heard from an NFL team. 

The last time Kaepernick played in an NFL game was Week 17 of the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers. He has been a free agent for the past three years since opting out of his 49ers contract in March 2017. In 2016, Kaepernick became the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police violence.

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