On Wednesday, at the league’s owner meeting in Irving, Texas, Goodell was asked about the special NFL workout that was set up for Kaepernick. And he didn’t mince words about the league being done with him.
“This was about creating an opportunity, which Colin’s representatives came out in early October and we created that opportunity,” Goodell told reporters. “It was a unique opportunity, an incredible opportunity and he chose not to take it. I understand that, and we’ve moved on here.”
Kaepernick has been enshrouded in controversy since he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers and started protesting racism against Black people by kneeling for the national anthem. He opted out of his contract at the end of the 2016 season and hasn’t played an NFL game since that year.
Many, both in and out of the league, supported Kaepernick’s protest and said the NFL blackballed him as a result.
Kaepernick also said he’s been denied the chance to work and posted Instagram videos to show that he never stopped training or preparing to play professionally.
The NFL’s workout was scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia. But 30 minutes before it was supposed to begin, Kaepernick announced he had moved it to Charles Drew High School in nearby Riverdale, Georgia, where he threw passes and conducted drills.
The quarterback changed the location because he wanted the media to be present so more “transparency” would be shown. And he didn’t want to sign a liability waiver the league presented either.
A lot of people, like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, said Kaepernick’s decision to blow off the NFL workout was foolish. While others, like Kap’s friend and former teammate Eric Reid, said he made the right decision by mistrusting the league due to how he’s been treated.
Reportedly, 25 teams showed up to the NFL-sponsored workout and only eight teams went to the high school when the location was changed. And Kaepernick spoke to reporters after the drills were completed.
“We’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running,” he told them. “Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people.”
Kaepernick and Reid also filed a collusion suit against the NFL and reached a settlement earlier this year.