ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid got into a lengthy Twitter feud on Saturday night, just hours after Colin Kaepernick participated in a workout in front of NFL scouts in Atlanta.
Shortly after Kaepernick’s workout — which marked the first significant step in recent months in the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s battle to land with a new team — Smith went to Twitter to post one of his classic reaction videos.
Smith took issue with Kaepernick’s last-minute move to change the venue of the workout, and thinks that he doesn’t actually want another chance to play in the league.
“This man wanted a chance. Twenty-five teams show up in Georgia at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility … And what does Colin Kaepernick do?” Smith said, in part. “Not Tuesday, when he found out about it. 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 … He don’t want to play. He wants to be a martyr.”
Kaepernick changed the venue of the workout at the last minute on Saturday, moving it from the Falcons practice facility to a local high school in order to allow the media to watch and film the event to maintain a “transparent and open process.” The NFL later released a statement saying it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” even though he still worked out in front of several teams and the media.
Reid — who played with Kaepernick in San Francisco and took a knee with him during the national anthem at games to protest police brutality and social injustices in the United States — took offense to Smith’s tweet.
Smith quickly fired back, launching eight tweets at Reid to defend his take.
Reid — a loud defender of Kaepernick who was also part of the massive collusion grievance against the NFL that was settled earlier this year — did not respond to Smith’s lengthy rebuttal.
Kaepernick ended up working out in front of representatives from eight teams on Saturday after the venue change. While Smith may not think so, Kaepernick himself insisted that he is more than ready to take the field again.
“I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years,” Kaepernick said. “We all know why I came out here: To show you today, in front of everybody, we have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them, to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people.”
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