Last week, the NFL announced it would be hosting a workout to give Colin Kaepernick a chance to prove once and for all he still belongs in the league and the news was met with a mix of reactions from people who were either angry, delighted, or confused by the development.
The biggest question on people’s minds seemed to be exactly why the NFL had decided now was the best time to give Kaepernick a shot when you consider he’d been fighting to get back on a roster for three years and there were reports that Roger Goodell had let his guilt get the best of him (and that he may have had some help from Jay-Z).
All eyes turned to Atlanta on Saturday as protesters gathered to greet Kaepernick but they never got a chance to lob some boos in his general direction, as things took an interesting twist when the quarterback unexpectedly moved the workout to another location at the last minute.
It wasn’t entirely clear what sparked the decision at first, but on Monday, we learned Kaepernick had refused to sign a waiver that appeared to contain a clause that would essentially absolve the NFL of any liability if the player wanted to pursue legal action against the league.
Now, Yahoo NFL expert Charles Robinson has published an in-depth article that claims the waiver in question is proof the entire workout was actually a sham and that it supports the claims that the showcase was a publicity stunt designed to help the league save face.
The entire report is worth a read but Robinson’s key claim is that the NFL’s lawyers purposefully designed a waiver he describes as a “Trojan horse,” as Kaepernick would have essentially forfeited many state and federal legal protections in regard to his employment if he’d agreed to the league’s terms.
Here are just a few things that could have resulted if the quarterback had consented:
The league could have refused to release tapes of the workout with no recourse. Or the teams could have been allowed to instruct Kaepernick that he would be unemployable if he knelt for the national anthem. The NFL could have even instructed all teams not to sign Kaepernick following the workout. While all of those sound preposterous and unlikely, the fact that there would have been no repercussions for any of those actions speaks to how sweeping the waiver was.
Robinson also asserts the NFL was initially hopeful it could spin things if Kaepernick declined to sign the waiver, as it could have placed the blame on him for the workout not coming to fruition (of course, this blew up in their face when he decided to go rogue and hold one of his own).
As of now, nothing has really changed, as Kaepernick remains unsigned and there’s no indication a team will decide to pick him up in the immediate future despite his efforts.
However, something tells me this saga isn’t even close to coming to an end.