This weekend was one of the most frustrating days on social media as the NFL and Colin Kaepernick went back to war for seemingly no reason at all and everyone involved lost.
Last Tuesday, Colin Kaepernick and his representation randomly received an invitation to an NFL workout that Saturday at the Atlanta Falcons facility with zero warning and zero control.
Kaepernick hadn’t played football in about 3 years and he was expected to be ready. [narrator voice] he was.
But let’s also point out this workout was planned for the Saturday before Week 11. Week 11.
That’s far too late in the season to bring someone onto your team and teach him the offense. Especially remembering he hasn’t played in 3 years.
It was also the NFL’s travel day which means no coach or GMs would be in attendance. No one was coming to Atlanta on their bye week to watch an hour workout.
And most importantly, this could’ve happened the week before. And the week before that. And a year before that.
The only optimistic twist I can pretend to have about this nonsense is that NFL teams truly want to see if Kaepernick can still play but no individual team has the balls to bring him into the facility because they don’t want the media attention. Especially if he doesn’t sign.
No team wants to come off as racist for not signing Kaepernick so the NFL scheduled a public (not public at all) event for all teams to get a look at his arm without one team being singled out for their interest.
Again, it was the Saturday before gameday and none of the actual team’s decision makers were going to be in attendance. This whole thing was a charade.
And what makes it even more confusing is that this season was the first season in years that no one was demanding Colin Kaepernick every time a starting quarterback went down.
Ryan Finley and Jeff Driskell started the week before Kap was invited to work out and no one on Twitter brought Kap’s name up. We all accepted the fact that Kaepernick was never playing again and we were ready to just deal with Luke Falk’s forever.
No, it’s the NFL who brought this man back into the news and back into their crosshairs. This is like in Thor Ragnarok (SPOILERS) when Thor frees his arch nemesis, Surtur, to kill his new nemesis, Hela. Only instead of freeing Surtur to kill Hela, Thor freed Surtur and then got brutally murdered by Surtur.
That was not sponsored by Disney Plus.
Anyway, fast forward to Saturday afternoon and the world was in an uproar when in the 11th hour, Colin Kaepernick rescheduled his own tryout from the Falcons facility to a high school field outside of Atlanta.
25 teams were going to attend the original workout and when Kapernick announced around 2:30 that the workout was moving an hour away, most NFL reps immediately hit the airport.
The workout took place a little after 4 o’clock and by all reports, he was slanging the rock out there. I won’t show the one clip going around of him throwing a standard deep ball. That’s like Ben Simmons nailing three’s in an empty gym.
The point is, Colin Kapernick can very much still ball and we were all reminded that the reason he’s not on an NFL roster has absolutely nothing to do with his passing ability.
But what frustrated me the most about this weekend was the outrage surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s decision to move the workout last minute.
Kaepernick was asked to participate in a set up.
The media wasn’t allowed into the workout. There were no cameras allowed in the workout. He was required to sign WILD waivers that had nothing to do with potential injuries and everything to do with the NFL completing controlling his destiny.
The NFL all but admitted in these waivers that this entire workout was a facade. And by banning the media, the NFL could’ve just shrugged and said ‘well Kapernick sucked and that’s why no one will sign him so there’ and none of us would be able to argue because there would’ve been zero footage of the workout.
So yea, Kaepernick—who was only given two hours to decide if he was going to attend the workout—took some control of the situation and made an audible to a different venue.
Here’s Stephen A. Smith doing exactly what the NFL wants him to do:
The narrative immediately shifted to victim blaming. Suddenly Colin Kapernick doesn’t want to play.
Guys, people literally said LOOK AT WHAT HE’S WEARING. This is gross.
People went off on how Kaepernick doesn’t want to be in the NFL and that he should just shut up and do what the NFL says and he just wants to grow his own personal brand as a martyr.
Let’s take a look at that for a sec.
If Colin Kaepernick didn’t want to play in the NFL then please go watch the workout footage and explain to me why this man is clearly still in top shape and can still make every throw and once again, is still better than Luke Falk?
That’s a guy who very much still wants to play.
He should do whatever it takes to get back to the NFL? Really? The NFL BLACKBALLED him from their company. How is Kap the one that should be putting on airs for them? If they really wanted him back, they wouldn’t have weird language in those waivers.
Can we, for once, blame the billion-dollar corporation for their treatment of their employees and not blame the poorly treated employees once they get a crumb of leverage?
And finally, Kaepernick just wants to grow his brand.
Guys, the NFL scheduled this workout. Colin Kaepernick didn’t ask for this. It was put upon him like, four days earlier. My man was minding his own business and they hit his phone, not the other way around.
Just by returning to the news cycle, he could’ve advanced his brand while also rejecting the workout if he wasn’t actually trying to play football.
But what personally bothers me the most about all this nonsense is how so many people view Colin Kaepernick simply for wanting a fairer shot at returning to a league that hates him.
Yes, unfortunately for the NFL, Colin Kaepernick still cares more about his principles then he does bending the knee and kissing the shield. But what’s lost in this, is what Kap’s principles actually are.
This isn’t Myles Garrett smashing a dude’s helmet into his head, being suspended indefinitely and deciding that he did nothing wrong and refusing to apologize and do whatever it takes to get back to the league because he was in the right to beat to Mason Rudolph’s ass.
No, this is Kaepernick who kneeled to draw attention to police brutality and got forced into some bullshit debate about the military and the flag and MAGA, which had absolutely nothing to do with the correct viewpoint he originally.
Why in the fuck would Kaepernick put his beliefs aside to play in this league especially considering that his ‘beliefs’ that you’re all so angry about is that he believes black people deserve better in this country and all of the dialogue surrounding his workout this weekend proves his point exactly.
There are people who have committed murder and continued to play in the NFL without having to beg and plead for a job. Kaepernick just wants better treatment of black people and he’s out.
Both parties will be fine after this. This is a toxic relationship and it will never come together successfully ever again. But let us be suuuper clear that the NFL is to blame for all this bullshit.
Oh, and Stephen A. Smith is a cop.