NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has weighed in on the peculiar and ongoing saga of Colin Kaepernick’s quest to return to the league. At a Wednesday news conference during the 2019 Winter Leagues Meetings, Goodell addressed Kaepernick’s recent workout-that-went-sideways, an event where Kaepernick backed out of an NFL-sponsored event in lieu of hosting his own workout.
“It was a unique opportunity, a credible opportunity,” Goodell said. “He chose not to take it, and I understand that.” Goodell added that “We’ve moved on,” which appears to close the door to Kaepernick pending interest from an individual team.
NFL’s involvement in Kaepernick’s workout
Colin Kaepernick had largely faded from the public eye until mid-November, when the NFL suddenly announced that it would be hosting a closed workout for Kaepernick in Atlanta and inviting all 32 NFL teams. The move took both teams and Kaepernick himself by surprise, and the league gave him only two days to decide whether to participate. The opportunity was certainly “unique,” but opinions differed on whether it was “credible.”
Kaepernick bought in on the event, even though his team continued to haggle with the league over details such as the openness of the workout and a waiver for his participation. Just minutes before the workout was slated to begin, Kaepernick and his team pulled out of the event, unable to get the league to budge on allowing in media, and unwilling to commit to a waiver Kaepernick’s team considered unfair and overreaching. Kaepernick instead moved the workout to an Atlanta-area high school.
According to the league, 25 teams had sent representatives to the Falcons’ facility, and only about eight made the hour-long trip to visit Kaepernick at the open-to-the-media workout. Here’s the recap of the workout prepared by Kaepernick’s team:
Kaepernick to Goodell, owners: ‘Stop running’
Kaepernick didn’t take questions after his workout, but he delivered a broadside that called out Goodell by name.
“We all know why I came out here: to show you today, in front of everybody, we have nothing to hide,” he said. “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.”
Goodell may or may not be running, but it’s clear after Wednesday’s comments that he and the league are walking away.
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