Colin Kaepernick cancelled an NFL-organized workout outside Atlanta on Saturday, November 16, and instead organized his own, citing issues with an “unusual liability waiver” demanded by the NFL and limitations on media access.
According to the NFL, the workout was originally scheduled for 3 pm at the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility in Flowery Branch but, shortly before it was due to begin, was moved to a field at Charles H Drew High School in Riverdale, about 50 miles southwest of Flowery Branch.
Despite the short notice, Kaepernick’s appearance in Riverdale drew dozens of local residents, footage shows.
Kaepernick’s attorney Ben Meiselas and agent Jeff Nalley issued a joint statement about the change of location, saying the NFL had denied Kaepernick’s requests to allow all media to observe and film the workout, and said the NFL had rejected a “standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed” by Kaepernick’s representives.
“Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process which is why a new location has been selected for today,” the statement said.
The NFL responded, saying it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” and criticizing what it claimed were late demands issued by Kaepernick and his representatives.
“Today’s session was designed to give Colin what he has consistently said he wants – an opportunity to show his football readiness and desire to return to the NFL,” the statement said.
“On Wednesday, we sent Colin’s representatives a standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players.”
The NFL also claimed that they only learned the night before that Kaepernick wanted to bring his own video crew, and said they only heard on Saturday afternoon that he wanted the event to be open to all media. The organization said it had “been clear from the beginning that this is private workout” and had “confirmed with Colin’s representatives that they would receive both the video that would be sent to all 32 clubs as well as the raw footage from the entire event, which is unprecedented.”
Kaepernick became a free agent after leaving the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, and following the controversy over his decision to kneel during the national anthem before games in 2016 in protest against police violence against black Americans.
Four days before the workout, Kaepernick had tweeted that the workout had been organized, and said he had “been in shape and ready for this for three years.” Credit: Rian “Trott” Trotter via Storyful