As many try to understand why the league would suddenly and abruptly schedule a Colin Kaepernick dog-and-pony show, some have asked whether the workout flows from the terms mandated by the agreement that settled Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the league and its teams. It did not.
Per a source with knowledge of the transaction, the settlement document between Kaepernick and the NFL did not require the league to organize and conduct a league-wide workout.
The circumstances of the workout confirm this reality. If a workout were going to happen by agreement of the league and Kaepernick, it would have happened during the offseason, not in November. Also, the terms of the document would have provided for mutual agreement as to the time and place and other aspects of the workout; it’s now clear that the league set this up, without Kaepernick’s involvement and without regard to his input or preferences.
As previously mentioned, common sense suggests that this workout is less about wrapping up the loose ends of the first lawsuit and more about avoiding a second one. Kaepernick could pursue a new grievance arguing that his ongoing unemployment, post-February 2019, is the result of hard feelings resulting from the fact that he pursued legal rights and forced the league to write him a check to resolve them. And so a chess match has begun, with the league sliding pieces on the board and Kaepernick responding, with the NFL’s potential goal being the creation of the impression that Kaepernick is getting a fair chance at employment without the NFL’s teams actually giving him one.
To those who would say that an employer has every right to shun an employee who has sued it, remember this: Those same rights against retaliation in employment protect you and your friends and family members. If employers could simply reject anyone who pursued legitimate legal rights, who would ever pursue legitimate legal rights?
That’s where this could be heading, and Saturday’s workout could be aimed at undermining rights that currently may fall in the range of strong to quite strong.