The anthem issue remains unresolved, and the NFL and the NFL Players Association have resolved to engage in future meetings and discussions on the issue. Those future meetings may, or may not, involve free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“Colin Kaepernick was not invited to attend today’s meeting by any official from the NFL or any team executives,” attorney Mark Geragos said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “Other players wanted him present and have asked that he attend the next meeting with the goal of forging a lasting and faithful consensus around these issues. Mr. Kaepernick is open to future participation on these important discussions.”
Kaepernick’s current playing status shouldn’t be an impediment. Receiver Anquan Boldin is retired, but he was present for the meeting on Tuesday.
The league may be uncomfortable with Kaepernick’s presence, given his pending collusion grievance. But if the league hopes to reach a long-term solution to the anthem issue, having Kaepernick sign on would help the players buy in.
Of course, having Kaepernick gainfully employed in the NFL may help even more. But it would also inflame those who are upset about players kneeling or sitting during the anthem, even if all of them stand moving forward.
UPDATE 5:00 p.m. ET: Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said that Kaepernick was invited to attend the meeting by players, and that Jenkins doesn’t know why Kaepernick didn’t attend. Via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, other players said that Kaepernick was invited, but that he didn’t want to be a distraction. No one has disputed the contention that Kaepernick was not invited by the NFL or any team executives. PFT has confirmed that multiple players reached out, but that Kaepernick was not invited by the league or by any team.