Some think the workout is just a media stunt, though.
It’s Sunday Night Football on New Year’s Day 2017. The Seatle Seahawks are taking on the San Fransico 49ers in the final week of the season in a seemingly insignificant game.
The 49ners are down nine and in possession of the ball. With 5:44 left in the 4th quarter, Colin Kaepernick rockets the ball to Garrett Celek for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the 49ers never regain possession of the ball and lose the game 25 to 23.
With the conclusion of the game came the end of Kaepernick’s time in the NFL. Come March, he would opt-out of his contract with the 49ers and remain a free agent since.
Teams have been reluctant to sign the controversial QB, who made headlines all throughout the 2016 season for choosing to kneel during the national anthem. Ring a bell?
While the motivation for the silent protest was fuelled by the apparent police brutality rampant throughout the nation, many pundits felt the gesture was disrespectful to the military and to the nation they serve.
The singular protest became a movement across the NFL, with more and more players taking part. Criticism was quick to follow, with many questioning the league as to how they could allow the rogue practice to continue.
The league eventually introduced a new rule, stating all players must stand for the performance of the national anthem but are permitted to remain in the locker room if they prefer.
While the controversy has quelled, for the most part, one glaring omission remains. Colin Kaepernick’s presence in the NFL.
In October of 2017, Kaepernick, and fellow teammate Eric Reid who took part in the protest, filed a grievance against the league, for what they claimed was collusion by the league owners to blacklist them from playing. The case was later settled out of court, in February 2018.
Eric Reid would sign with the Florida Panthers a year later while Kaepernick remains without even a prospective contract.
Now, more than two and a half years after becoming a free agent, the NFL is offering the quarterback another chance. On Tuesday, they announced they would be holding a workout for the QB, and inviting representatives from all 32 teams to attend.
While the workout sounds like a great leap forward for the league and Kaepernick, many were questioning the true motives of the highly publicized event.
For one, the date of the workout is highly inconvenient for teams, as most teams play on Sunday. Second, Kaepernick and his reps were only given four-days-notice that the workout would be taking place. Furthermore, it’s been reported that the QB only had two hours to confirm.
So far, 11 teams have confirmed that they would be attending the workout, in some capacity. However, the sincerity of the scouting that will take place, come Saturday, remains to be seen.
Will teams be in attendance to verify the skills of a talented athlete, or will they be saving face with the masses by showing face?