NFL Commissioner Says They've 'Moved on' from Colin Kaepernick Following Workout Session Change
Colin Kaepernick has been a free agent since opting out of his NFL contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017
This week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league has “moved on” from the quarterback, who has been a free agent since opting out of his NFL contract with his former team in 2017.
“This was … about creating an opportunity,” Goodell told reporters on Wednesday at the NFL winter meetings, addressing a planned NFL workout last month, which was changed at the last minute following several disagreements, according to CNN.
“It was a unique opportunity — an incredible opportunity and he chose not to take it,” Goodell continued. “I understand that. And we’ve moved on here.”
Kapernick’s 40-minute workout, which was held on Nov. 16, was initially scheduled to take place at the Atlanta Falcons’ facility, but Kaepernick’s team switched venues after a disagreement between the two sides about several factors, including media availability, ESPN previously reported.
“I’ve been ready for three years,” Kaepernick, 32, told reporters at the workout, which instead took place at a local high school, according to the outlet. “I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why I came out here. [I] showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people.”
After the workout venue was changed, the NFL released a statement saying they were “disappointed” with the decision, claiming that they were informed of the venue switch 30 minutes before the workout was set to begin.
“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 NFL wrote, noting that representatives from 25 teams were in attendance.
They went on to say that despite their feelings, the last-minute change would not affect Kapernick’s “status in the league,” and that the player would still have the ability to sign a contract with any team.
ESPN previously reported that only seven teams were in attendance at the workout, which according to the NFL, was over an hour’s drive away from the original venue.
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In 2016, Kaepernick made headlines when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest systemic oppression and police brutality. A year later, in March, the athlete opted out of his contract with the 49ers and hasn’t played for an NFL team since.
He filed a collusion grievance with the NFL in May 2018, which was eventually settled out of court, according to a statement from his attorneys, who also confirmed a settlement was reached with Eric Reid — one of the first players to join Kaepernick in his protest.