Colin Kaepernick urged NFL owners and commissioner Roger Goodell to “stop running from the truth” as he reiterated his readiness to return to the league after a public workout on Saturday.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not played in the NFL since 2016, when he sparked controversy by kneeling during the US national anthem in protest to the wrongful treatment of black men across America.He had been scheduled to perform a private workout arranged by the league, but chose not to attend and instead completed a 40-minute session in front of onlookers at a high school in the Atlanta area.
Addressing media after the workout, Kaepernick said, “I’ve been ready for three years – I’ve been denied for three years.”We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people.
“We’re out here. We’re ready to play. We’re ready to go anywhere.
“My agent, Jeff Nalley, is ready to talk any team. I’ll interview with any team at any time. I’ve been ready, I’m staying ready and I’ll continue to be ready.
“We’ll let you know if we hear from them. The ball is in their court. We’re ready to go.’
The NFL had arranged for Kaepernick to perform in front of teams at the Atlanta Falcons training facility in Flowery Branch on Saturday at 3pm (EST).
All 32 teams had been invited to watch assess the 32-year-old, with representatives from 25 confirmed to attend.However, shortly before it was due to begin, Kaepernick’s representatives announced that they had changed the location to Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, around 60 miles from the original location.
Kaepernick said that one of the main reasons for the move was so that the media could attend, saying he wanted “transparency” throughout the process.
“Our biggest thing was making sure we had transparency in what went on,” Kaepernick added.
“We weren’t getting that elsewhere, so we came out here. It’s important you’re all here [the media].”You’ve all been attacked for the last three years, you continue to be attacked. We appreciate what you all do.”
A statement released by Kaepernick’s representatives to announce the change added that the quarterback had asked that the media be allowed to attend, but that the request had been denied by the NFL.
It said : “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.”Even with the change, Kaepernick’s agent Jeff Nalley told reporters there were representatives from eight teams present for the workout and added that they plan to send the footage to all 32 NFL franchises.