On Tuesday (Nov. 12), Colin Kaepernick announced that the National Football League had invited him to be evaluated by NFL coaches in a private workout, indicating a possible return from Kaepernick to rosters.
“I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday,” Kaepernick tweeted. “I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.”
The event has since received some scrutiny over the NFL’s true intentions, as many believe Kaepernick has suffered an ongoing barring from the sport over his activism.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that JAY-Z, who inked a partnership with the league this August, “had some influence” in the upcoming workout.
“I am also told that Jay-Z, who has been working with the NFL on some social justice initiatives, was involved in this and pushed this idea to some extent,” he said.
Two notes: 1. Jay-Z, a partner with the NFL on social justice, had some influence here. 2. This is not part of Kaepernick’s settlement, nor did he ask for this in his settlement. https://t.co/6l7z3MYJ5x— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 13, 2019
Rapoport also tweeted that the workout was not a condition from Kaepernick’s NFL lawsuit, which was settled back in February.
Despite JAY-Z’s reported involvement, the NFL’s alleged lack of follow-through still has some believing that the workout is nothing more than a publicity stunt.
ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that despite allegedly promising Kaepernick a list of workout attending coaches, scouts and general managers, the NFL is now saying they won’t be providing the information.
After initially agreeing to provide the list of personnel executives and coaches that would attend Colin Kaepernick’s workout￼, the NFL has reversed course and said it will not, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 13, 2019
“League never promised list of attendees to Colin Kaepernick workout and said multiple clubs are attending,” Schefter tweeted, per an NFL source. “So Kaepernick camp says it was promised list of attendees and can prove it, and an NFL source said league did not make that promise.”
1/2 NFL source: League never promised to provide list of attendees to Colin Kaepernick workout and said multiple clubs are attending.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 14, 2019
“Another source in Kaepernick’s camp said he was on the phone call when the NFL said how it would provide the names of attendees,” Schefter wrote. “On it goes.”
2/2 So Kaepernick camp says it was promised list of attendees and can prove it, and an NFL source said league did not make that promise.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 14, 2019
Another source in Kaepernick’s camp said he was on the phone call when the NFL said how it would provide the names of attendees. On it goes.
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, who is a former teammate and close friend of Kaepernick’s, expressed his skepticism toward the workout.
“If it’s a real process, I’m excited,” he said, “The strange thing is, that it’s on a Saturday and it remains to be seen who’s gonna make it to the workout, being that it’s before a game.”
Reid was the second NFL player, following Kaepernick, to protest against police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said. “At this point, it feels like a PR stunt.”
Reid also added that he’s recently spoken with Kaepernick, who echoes his concerns.