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Kaepernick Desperate for Another Chance After Blowing Off NFL Tryout, Agent Admits

Colin Kaepernick’s agent said the quarterback is looking for second chance to tryout for the NFL days after blowing off the opportunity. 

Kaepernick, 32, was supposed to workout for about 25 teams on Saturday near Atlanta, but at the last minute, he opted to instead hold his own workout. His representatives cited legal issues, while he emphasized that he wanted the media to be able to attend.

Only a few of the scouts ultimately showed up for the Kaepernick show.

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Afterward, Kaepernick’s agent, Jeff Nalley, told ESPN that he sent footage of the quarterback’s recent workout to all 32 NFL teams. But he said no one had expressed interest.

“I’ll be honest, I’m a little bit pessimistic because I’ve talked to all 32 teams,” he said. “I’ve reached out to them recently, and none of them have had any interest.”

According to ESPN’s Howard Bryant, Nalley also said Kaepernick is considering following the NFL owners to their March meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, and holding a second workout nearby.


Nalley did not immediately respond to Pluralist’s request for comment.

Does Kaepernick really want another NFL tryout?

Kaepernick has alleged that the NFL is blackballing him because he knelt during that national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality against African Americans. President Donald Trump has criticized the protest as unpatriotic and disrespectful.

At his workout Saturday, Kaepernick showed up wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Kunta Kinte,” the name of a fictional American slave made famous by the 1977 “Roots” TV miniseries. He told assembled reporters that he is ready to play “anywhere” in the NFL but the league is “running” from him.

“I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why,” he said. “So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams and [league commissioner] Roger Goodell to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people.”

Supporters of Kaepernick and his social justice activism praised him for defying the NFL once again.

NFL columnist Mike Freeman tweeted on Saturday that Kaepernick’s workout proved once and for all that NFL teams are discriminating again him.

However, critics accused Kaepernick of revealing that he is more interested in attention than football, or racial equality. The backlash was led by a number of black commentators.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith on Sunday posted a video to Twitter, saying: “He don’t wanna play. He wants to be a martyr.”

According to anonymously sourced reports, even rapper Jay-Z, who reportedly pushed for Kaepernick to get the NFL workout, was disappointed that the event turned into a publicity stunt.

The NFL says it’s ‘disappointed’

Kaepernick’s representatives moved the workout from the Atlanta Falcon’s practice facility to a local high school after accusing the NFL of not acting in a forthright manner in organizing the workout.

“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one,” they said in a statement.

The NFL said it was informed of Kaepernick’s decision 30 minutes before the workout was to begin.

“We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” the league said in a statement, adding it had made considerable effort to work cooperatively with Kaepernick’s representatives.

Before the move, both protesters and supporters had waited for Kaepernick outside the Falcons’ facility.

One protester, waving a U.S. flag, held a sign that said “Colin Kaepernick un-American Loser. Get out of my town.”

Supporters included one follower wearing a Kaepernick jersey and displaying a sign that read “I’m with Kap.”

Taking a knee

Among the first players to kneel during the pregame U.S. national anthem in protest against extrajudicial killings of black people by police, Kaepernick has been unable to find a team to sign him since 2017.

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A second-round draft choice in 2011, he played with the 49ers for six seasons, leading them to the 2013 Super Bowl and the National Football Conference title game the next season.

During the third preseason game in 2016 he began sitting during the U.S. anthem.

The following week and during regular season, Kaepernick began kneeling as protest against social injustice.

He became a free agent after the 2016 season and remains unsigned.

Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against NFL owners in October 2017 after going unsigned as a free agent. The two sides resolved the grievance in February under a confidentiality agreement.

(Reuters contributed to this report)

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