Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick sent the media into a frenzy when he made a last-minute decision to change the venue and time of his scheduled NFL workout last Saturday. The workout was initially set to take place at the Falcons’ practice facility in Flowery Branch but changed to a high school in Riverdale in order to ensure transparency with media attendance.
Due to the location change, 16 of the 25 teams that were supposed to be in attendance didn’t show up. Per NBC Sports, it was later reported that the location change was due to the liability waiver that the league asked Kaepernick to sign. Kaepernick’s team claimed that the standard tryout waiver was much more narrow than the one that was given to the former 49er’s quarterback. Because of this, they advised Kaepernick to not sign the document and workout elsewhere.
After many false narratives were posted, Kaepernick received both backlash and support. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who had been vocal about his support of Kaepernick prior to the workout, criticized Kap and accused him of not wanting to play and instead said he wanted to be a martyr.
This morning on ESPN’s First Take, former NFL star Terrell Owens ripped into Smith for not using his platform to support Kap and questioned Smith on his accusations.
Owens stated the following:
“You being a black man, knowing that we have gone through some of these things. You have gone through some of these things with white bosses or whatever the case may be. So, why do you feel that Colin Kaepernick should have to do the same thing? He believes in what he believes in. He’s standing in his truth. You have a platform to help change the narratives. It’s black advocacy, it’s cultural allegiance.”
Stephan A. Smith’s Defense
Smith was quick to defend himself after Owens spoke.
“Knowing that that is the reality, how do you strategize to work your way around the minefields in order to facilitate getting what you want. So you might have the approach TO, hell with that I’m coming out swinging … there’s one point that I am trying to point out and that’s there are others fighting for you, show up for the workout.”
Fellow ESPN analyst Max Kellerman, First Take host Molly Qerim Rose and TO were quick to jump on Smith for pointing out that the liability form was not written in Kaepernick’s favor and therefore the workout couldn’t have taken place at its original destination without Kap potentially damaging his future.
Kaepernick: Post Workout
After Kaepernick completed 40 minutes worth of passing he voiced his opinions to the league’s representatives and those in attendance.
“I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why I came out here and showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. We are waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams and Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running — stop running from the truth, stop running from the people. We are out here, we ready to play. We are ready to go anywhere. My agent Jeff Nalley is ready to talk to any team. I will interview with any team at any time. I’ve been ready, I’m staying ready and I continue to be ready.”
That was the last time the media has heard from Kaepernick himself. It was reported by ESPN’s Haward Bryant that Kaepernick’s agent Jeff Nalley sent the full 58-minute video of Saturday’s workout to all 32 NFL teams with a letter stating Kaepernick’s availability to speak with each by telephone and/or for an in-person visit. As of now, the wait continues to see if Kaepernick will be presented the opportunity to sign with a team.