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Kaepernick Bails On NFL Workout, Stephen A. Smith: “He Doesn’t Want To Play, He Wants To Be A Martyr”

Colin Kaepernick and his supporters have done a good job of portraying him as some sort of victim, but it’s hard to feel bad for a guy who flakes on an NFL workout.

Over the weekend, personnel from 25 teams made their way to Atlanta to watch an official workout of the former quarterback. There was just one problem: Colin didn’t show up.

His representatives issued the following statement on his behalf:

The NFL had this to say about Kaepernick’s decision:

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. 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.

The NFL joins a list of countless others, including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who think this whole thing was nothing more than a chance for Kaepernick to play the victim card again:

So let me get this straight, Colin Kaepernick has been working out all this time, him, people in his camp, his loved ones – everyone’s saying he’s ready to play football, he wants to play, just give him a chance. So what does the NFL do? Recognizing that teams need a shield, because they need something to hide behind, because they know that, guess what? If we bring this brother in for a workout and we don’t want him, we don’t need him, who knows what we’re going t get accused of. We need cover! So the NFL provides that.

I have no doubt Jay Z is involved, I have no doubt Roger Goodell is involved. I have no doubt there is a host of people involved, but forget all of that. This man wanted a chance, 25 teams show up in Georgia at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility, they stayed at our facility, NFL personnel, equipment, video, everything.

And what does Colin Kaepernick do? Not Tuesday, not Wednesday, not Thursday, not Friday, Saturday — three hours before the workout — because of some issue with a liability waiver — Colin Kaepernick wants to change the venue, Colin Kaepernick wants his own receivers, Colin Kaepernick wants to video things himself, Colin Kaepernick… wants the media available.

You see? He don’t wanna play. He wants to be a martyr. But, guess what? It ain’t working this time.

All of us believe Colin Kaepernick would have sold out. And if he had sold out, I believe he would have had a job in two weeks. But it didn’t happen because he didn’t show. He wanted to show up to a high school in Georgia, not an NFL facility, a high school. And you took it live. Like, the average Joe out there gets to decide if he’s on the NFL roster. You don’t want to work, you just want to make noise and control the narrative.

It’s over, Colin Kaepernick’s aspiration for an NFL career. It is over.