Colin Kaepernick Wasn't Going to Kneel For The NFL, Nor Should He

The NFL doesn’t really want Colin Kaepernick back in the league.

What happened this weekend, with Kaepernick walking out on the league’s hastily scheduled workout at the Falcons’ facility just outside Atlanta to host his own workout for attendees at a high school across town, went down just as planned.

Kaepernick doesn’t really want to return to football is what’s now being propagated. He wants to remain a social justice martyr, something ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said exactly this Monday.

That’s what you’re hearing.

But let’s break this all down. First what we already know to be telling is the NFL wanted to have this meeting on a Saturday, when coaches and GMs are preparing for their Sunday games, with road teams already at their respective locales, and not on a Tuesday when free-agent workouts are typically scheduled. Kaepernick was given just two hours to accept the workout offer, according to reports. Does that seem like the league is extending an olive branch to the blackballed QB or a hand grenade?

And how about the fact that the event was being held in Atlanta, as opposed to a mutually-agreed upon location, and better yet, one convenient to Kaepernick. The league also would not allow Kaepernick’s team to video the workout, something that made folks in the QB’s camp uneasy as to what footage the NFL would select to disseminate. And to compound that fear, there would be no media access. The NFL would control the whole show.

Kaepernick was being told what little power he has, despite reports of teams being interested in his status, contacting the league to learn exactly that.

Kaepernick hoped to negotiate these arrangements to have an opportunity to show off his skills to whomever showed.

The league wouldn’t budge.

But the NFL, which ousted Kaepernick for kneeling for the anthem, had one more knee bend for him. They wanted him to sign a release that could have nullified any possibility of future litigation against the league for collusion.

So Kaepernick walked out.

In the waiver, which you can read in its entiretyhere, it states “…any and all claims, demands, actions, causes of action, suits, grievances, costs, losses, expenses, damages, injuries, illnesses, and losses (including death) caused by, arising out of, occurring during, or related directly or indirectly to the Workout, Player’s presence at the Facility, and any medical treatment or services rendered in connection with or necessitated by Player’s participation in the Workout.”

Here's where the trap was set, according to Daniel Wallach, sports attorney and legal analyst for The Athletic, with the use of “directly or indirectly”.

“No lawyer worth his salt would have a client sign a contract like that,” said Wallach, noting that the word “indirectly” leaves it up to a judge or jury to determine whether or not taking the league back to court for collusion is considered “indirectly” associated with this workout.

“It could hurt any future claim,” said Wallach. “The NFL and Kap’s legal team should have negotiated to have proper language.”

The goal of any lawyer is to draft a contract that mitigates risk, says Wallach and this deal was weighted down with “uncertainty and unknown”.

This playing field was as level as a slip-and-slide., and was never meant to lead to a return to the NFL. With President Trump looking for any and all possible distractions from his impeachment hearings, do you think there is any chance he wouldn’t have blasted the league and whichever team had the temerity to give him a job?

That’s the last thing the league wants as the sports and sports media industries slip on “Stick to Sports” ideologies like fleece PJs.

There’s a reason Kaepernick, after his own workout, wore a T-shirt that read Kunta Kinte, the African character in Alex Haley’s “Roots” who was brought to the U.S. in chains and definitely rebelled against the name Toby, which his “master” bestowed upon him, finally getting him to relent after a vicious whipping.

Kaepernick wants to play in the league and showed he still has the ability to play in the league. He’s just not willing to kneel for the league as he does for racial inequality.