Colin Kaepernick’s highly-anticipated open workout in front of NFL executives and team scouts didn’t go without some drama and some big statements made by the hopeful QB. Due to a last-minute location change by Kapernick’s team, the action went down during a private workout at Charles R Drew high school in Riverdale, Georgia. It was originally set to go down at the Atlanta Falcon’s training facility but changed it up after the NFL was allegedly going to bar media from attending.
— John Chapman (@JL_Chapman) November 16, 2019
When Kaepernick arrived at the workout location, he was wearing a black t-shirt with the name “Kunta Kinte” written across the chest. Kunta Kinte was a character in the 1976 novel, “Roots,” and chronicled the story of an African man enslaved and taken to America. The character may have been fictional, but the events were obviously not and Kaepernick wearing the shirt made a big statement as he took the public stage for the afternoon.
Fans definitely took notice of Kaepernick’s warm-up outfit and took to Twitter to praise the star for the move.
“Troll level 100” one person wrote, while another commented, “holy S—T Colin Kapernick is rocking a Kunta Kinte ROOTS shirt. Yes We Stan!!”
However a few threw some shade at the QB. As one critic put it:
“I’m sympathetic to his cause, but he’s really going out of his way here to be difficult. Wearing a Kunta Kinte shirt to a workout/job interview? Come on man.”
“Because the multi-millionaire at a literal job interview is just like a slave,” another commented.
So How’d He Do?!
Kaepernick’s workout seemed impressive, with the QB launching bombs down the field for receivers. Of course, he didn’t have anyone rushing him … but his athletic ability is definitely being showcased.
NFL insider Adam Schefter reported:
“After today’s workout in Atlanta, an NFL executive at Colin Kaepernick’s throwing session said his arm talent is ‘elite’ and is the same as when he came out of college. He said that Kaepernick threw the ball well.”
There will definitely be some fallout after Kaepernick bailed on the agreed-upon location of the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility. After they couldn’t agree to terms, Kaepernick’s attorneys released a statement addressing the issue.
“The NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives. Additionally, Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency. the NFL denied this request.”
The NFL Is Upset
The NFL has already responded to Kaepernick’s workout switch and said they are “disappointed.”
“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 league said they made a “considerable” effort to work cooperatively with his team, and they even agreed to allow Nike to “shoot an ad” around the workout. They also said the new location that Kaepernick selected was ‘more than an hour away” from the original location.
Even though they are upset, the NFL said, “Colin’s decision has no effect on his status in the League. He remains an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club.”