ESPN and PFT report that Colin Kaepernick‘s workout with the Seahawks was scrapped because the team asked Kaepernick to commit to ending his practice of kneeling during the anthem. NFL Network, owned and operated by the NFL and its 32 teams, understandably is pushing a different version of the events.
Says Ian Rapoport of NFL Network: “The Seahawks did postpone a tentatively scheduled workout with Colin Kaepernick, as Adam Schefter reported. It was not because he said he declined to stop kneeling, tho. The team asked for his plan moving forward on how to handle everything and there was not a firm plan. . . . Seahawks brass, John Schneider and Pete Carroll, want Colin Kaepernick to consider how he wants to proceed on everything (not just anthem) and get together at a later date when his plans are formed. Clearly, Seattle has accepted players speaking out for what they believe.”
It’s a stark contrast to the ESPN/PFT reporting, and the fact that it’s coming from a media company owned and operated by the league raises obvious questions. That said, the team may be trying to use the potential employment of Kaepernick as a way to set the stage for a global resolution of the issue, including but not limited to a settlement of his collusion grievance.
Not long after the grievance was filed, attorney Mark Geragos suggested that he’d go away if a team gave Kaepernick a job. Now that the case is being built (and potentially beginning to take a shape that suggests trouble for the league), the olive branch from the Seahawks may have been part of an effort to take Geragos up on his offer, belatedly, with Kaepernick, the Seahawks, and the NFL having a clear understanding as to all issues between them before Kaepernick signs.
If that was the intended message, it apparently backfired. Maybe Kaepernick, looking for a way to bolster his case, heard what he wanted to hear. Maybe the Seahawks, realizing that they’d potentially stepped in it, have tried to make a bad move seem better.
Whatever the actual truth, the pending collusion grievance has sprouted another branch that will require full exploration by both sets of lawyers before a final decision can be reached.