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Kaepernick’s sudden change of plans makes NFL scramble

Kaepernick’s sudden change of plans makes NFL scramble
By Reuters

17/11/2019 at 10:21Updated 17/11/2019 at 11:21

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick had NFL teams scrambling again Saturday when he changed the time and location of his workout and opened it up to the media without getting the league's OK.

Backed by his representatives, Kaepernick changed the time of the 3 p.m. ET workout, which was moved to Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia, some 60 miles from the Atlanta Falcons' training complex in Flowery Branch, where the session for 25 teams was originally scheduled to take place.

Apparently, the change in venue didn't affect Kaepernick's performance. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that an NFL executive at the session told him Kaepernick's arm is "elite" and that he threw the ball well.

Colin Kaepernick wanted to ensure total transparency at the workout

Colin Kaepernick wanted to ensure total transparency at the workoutGetty Images

Prior to the showcase, Kaepernicks's representatives expressed that they had issues with a liability waiver the league provided the QB to sign, and wanted members of the media to be able to see the workout and also videotape it.

On behalf of Kaepernick, representatives Ben Meiselas and Jeff Nalley issued an official statement to provide reasons for their decision: "Because of recent decisions made by the NFL, the workout for Colin Kaepernick will be changing to an alternate location in Atlanta which will now start at 4pm.

"All representatives from clubs are invited to attend and will be provided the location.

"Further, all media will be invited to attend and upon request will be provided with the location.

"From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one.

"Most recently, 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. Based on the prior conduct by the NFL league office, Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process which is why a new location has been selected for today.

"Mr. Kaepernick looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today."

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson, with the help of former Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, were set to direct the original session.

Kaepernick was joined by former team-mates and supporters of his cause

Kaepernick was joined by former team-mates and supporters of his causeGetty Images

The NFL on Saturday also released a statement that read in part: "We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout. He informed us of that decision at 2:30 p.m. today along with the public.

"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.

"Twenty-five (25) clubs were present for the workout, and all 32 clubs, their head coaches, general managers, and other personnel executives would have received video footage of the interview and workout, shot by the Atlanta Falcons video crew."

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began kneeling on the sideline during the national anthem to bring attention to social injustice, has not played since the 2016 season.

Kaepernick, 32, has played six seasons in the NFL and participated in six post-season games, including Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, when the 49ers lost 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens. Kaepernick passed for 302 yards and one touchdown in that game.

The Nevada product, who was a second-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2011, has passed for 12,271 yards in his career with 72 TDs and 30 interceptions. He also rushed for 2,300 yards and 13 more TDs.

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