“I’m Ready For This.”
The NFL has invited all 32 teams to a private workout with free-agent Colin Kapernick for a pro-day-style event including an on-field workout and interview on Saturday in Atlanta, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN.
Kaepernick, 32 years old, hasn’t played in the NFL since the final week of the 2016 season.
The event will include an on-field workout and interview session, similar to workouts for collegiate prospects during the run-up to the NFL draft. Teams can send scouts, or the video footage will be made available to any NFL team that requests it.
Kaepernick confirmed the report with a tweet after ESPN’s report Monday night.
“I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.” —Colin Kaepernick.
The ex-NFL QB hasn’t played in three years but the NFL, one assumes, is going on 2016 stats—Kapernick completed 59.2-percent of his passes, averaged 6.8 yards per attempt and threw 16 touchdowns with four interceptions in 12 games for the 49ers during the 2016 season.
But his refusal to stand for the National Anthem, in the name of his principles, is his claim to fame that overshadowed his on-field performance. Kaepernick reached an undisclosed settlement with the league after filing a lawsuit through the players’ union alleging collusion by NFL teams to blackball him because of his activism.
The most recent hint of interest from an NFL team came in April 2018 when he was briefly linked with the Seahawks, but an ESPN report indicated the invitation for a try-out was rescinded when the QB would not say whether he planned to consider kneeling.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”– Colin Kaepernick in a series of statements made in August, 2016
Kaepernick, who is biracial, was adopted and raised by white parents. He has been outspoken on his Twitter account on civil rights issues and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The NFL has said that “players are encouraged, but not required, to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”
Obviously, he wants his job back and for argument’s sake, a team in the NFL will give him a shot. Great. But will he play football or more of the same?
Photos courtesy NFL