Jay-Z Is Disappointed With Colin Kaepernick, Thinks Quarterback Turned Workout Into a Publicity Stunt: Report
On Saturday (Nov. 16), Colin Kaepernick spurned an NFL-orchestrated workout that was allegedly facilitated largely at the behest of Jay-Z in order to put on his own showcase under what he felt were more favorable conditions at an Atlanta area high school. That move has apparently left Hov disappointed.
A source close to the situation tells XXL that Jay thinks Kaepernick turned a "legitimate workout" into a publicity stunt. The aborted NFL-sanctioned workout is one sportscaster Dan Patrick says the 4:44 artist pressured the league into doing following backlash from the rapper's partnership with the NFL.
Originally, the workout was scheduled for Kaepernick to showcase his talent for NFL scouts at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility in Flowery Branch, Ga. However, Kaepernick's reps released a statement prior to the scheduled event saying Kaepernick took issue with "an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues" requested by the NFL. It's unknown what, exactly, those employment-related issues entailed, but it's worth noting that Kaepernick settled with the NFL for a collusion lawsuit earlier this year. Kaepernick also apparently wanted the media to be able to see the entire workout.
The NFL, which says it had reps from all 32 NFL teams at their own sanctioned workout, released its own statement about Kaepernick's moves. They say Kaepernick didn't tell them about wanting the event to be open to all media until the night before the workout was to take place. The league also claims that Nike, with Kaepernick's approval, requested to shoot an ad with Colin and name all of the NFL teams in attendance. They say they granted the request.
According to a New York Times sports reporter, a Nike spokesperson says, "Nike did not have a camera crew on the ground in Atlanta and had no plans to use footage from Kaepernick's workout." As the reporter notes, the NFL never said anything about Nike requesting to shoot the ad at the workout.
The NFL also says, "we are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout" and they add that "Colin's decision has no effect on his status in the League. He remains an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club."
Following his workout, which reportedly left NFL scouts impressed with his arm strength and other attributes, Kaepernick's team released the following statement:
"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 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."
Kaepernick hasn't played in an NFL game since the end of the 2016-2017 NFL regular season. He became a controversial figure within the league after he began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games that season. Kaepernick says he kneeled to bring attention to injustices faced by minorities in the U.S.
Despite possessing what many people believe is a still NFL-ready skillset, Kaepernick hasn't been able to sign with a squad since he last played a game.
It remains to be seen when or if Kaepernick will be signed with an NFL team this season or the next.
See the NFL's statement about Kaepernick relocating his workout for NFL teams for yourself below.
We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout. He informed us of that decision at 2:30 pm 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. It is important to note the following:
• As stated above, more than three-fourths of NFL clubs were present for today’s workout.
• The NFL made considerable effort to work cooperatively with Colin’s representatives. We invited his agent to suggest questions for the interview. Yesterday, when Colin’s representatives said he wanted to bring his own receivers to the workout, we agreed to the request. In addition, Coach Hue Jackson discussed with Colin’s agent what drills would be run at the workout so that Colin would know what would be expected of him.
• Last night, when Nike, with Colin’s approval, requested to shoot an ad featuring Colin and mentioning all the NFL teams present at the workout, we agreed to the request.
• On Wednesday, we sent Colin’s representatives a standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players. At noon today, Colin’s representatives sent a completely rewritten and insufficient waiver.
• We heard for the first time last night, around the same time we heard from Nike, that Colin wanted to bring his own video crew. We heard for the first time this afternoon that Colin wanted to open the event to all media.
• We agreed to have Colin’s representatives on the field while the workout was being conducted and to allow them to see how it was being recorded. We did so even though we have been clear from the beginning that this is private workout. As is typical with NFL Combines, one video crew was prepared to shoot and distribute video of the interview and workout. We confirmed with Colin’s representatives that they would receive both the video that would be sent to all 32 clubs as well as the raw footage from the entire event, which is unprecedented.
• The location Colin selected is more than an hour away from Flowery Branch.
We are grateful to the Falcons, who made available the club’s first-class facility, along with athletic training, equipment, and communications staff to ensure that today’s workout would occur under ideal conditions, to coaches Hue Jackson and Joe Philbin, who were prepared to run a workout that would allow Colin to demonstrate his skill level, and to Jeff Foster and the Combine staff for arranging for other players to participate and for managing the logistics of the workout.
Colin’s decision has no effect on his status in the League. He remains an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club.
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