The competing Colin Kaepernick liability waivers could shed light on which side bears more blame

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As the NFL blames Colin Kaepernick and as Kaepernick’s camp blames the NFL for Saturday’s unprecedented adjustments to an unprecedented private Pro Day workout for a 32-year-old quarterback who last played on New Year’s Day in 2017, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

So who deserves the most of it?

There’s a way to get a feel for the reasonableness, or not, of each side in this week-long game of chess and chicken. The specific language of the liability waiver proposed to Kaepernick by the league and the specific language of the liability waiver proposed to the league by Kaepernick could go a long way toward shedding light on which side was serious about proceeding with the event, as scheduled, at the Falcons’ facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Although leaks and characterizations have emerged regarding the competing releases, the actual language has yet to be quoted, by anyone.

As the events unfolded on Saturday afternoon, Kaepernick’s representatives said that the “unusual” waiver presented to Kaepernick by the NFL addressed “employment-related issues,” which in their estimation would have extinguished Kaepernick’s potential claims for collusion and/or retaliation since his first collusion case was settled in February. The NFL, leaking via anonymous source to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, contends that “[t]he employment clause in the waiver that the NFL wanted Colin Kaepernick to sign was related to potential worker’s compensation issues if he’d been injured and was not related to any of Kaepernick’s collusion-related claims, in the league’s view.”

So here’s my self-imposed homework assisgnment for the day: To get the actual language from the two waivers, to apply my fading legal skills and abilities to an analysis of the documents, and to determine whether the league or Kaepernick, or both, bear blame for the battle of paperwork that kept Kaepernick from proceeding as planned.

Of course, other issues contributed to the decision, such as the league’s refusal to allow the media to attend the session. But the competing waivers will shed light on whether either or both truly wanted to move forward with the workout at the Falcons’ facility.

Some would say that neither side was truly serious about staging a legitimate workout aimed at generating a legitimate opportunity for Kaepernick to return to the NFL. From the moment the first report surfaced that the league had scheduled a throwing session for the ostracized quarterback, it has felt more like a tug of war than a genuine effort to rectify past ugliness and to advance the mutual best interests of league and player. Kaepernick’s camp understandably was leery, given past events that culminated in a settlement of his collusion grievance. The league, from Kaepernick’s perspective, consistently acted the way it would not if it was truly trying to help Kaepernick but if it was trying to activate a P.R. and/or legal strategy that would have allowed the league to continue to keep Kaepernick out of the league while obtaining absolution for all past Kaepernick-related sins.

While both sides may indeed bear blame, the league, not Kaepernick, opened Pandora’s box on this one. The waiver given to Kaepernick by the league, and the waiver given by the league to Kaepernick, could help show which side bears more of it.

15 responses to “The competing Colin Kaepernick liability waivers could shed light on which side bears more blame

  1. When he changed the location the eight team attending should have gotten on their plans and went home. Just another publicity stunt.

  2. If he REALLY wanted to play…he’d sign anything. Even a crappy release. He wants the theater of it & to have his name in the news. He could have played in the AAF or CFL to prove himself & improve his skills. He wants the drama, not an opportunity.

  3. The league is on record saying it’s the standard liability waiver given to every potential prospect before a workout. So if there is any additional language not included in that form then the league is at fault. If it is the standard waiver than Kap is at fault. And should not that waiver have been presented before the 11th hour?

  4. welcome to the real world, where job applicants don’t get to decide to move their interview 60 miles away without adequate notice

  5. Certainly appears the league was hoping to clean up the first settlement with language in the tryout waiver. Kap couldn’t refuse to attend or he looks like he’s not really interested in playing again so had to relocate it.

  6. Kaepernick is a fraud. He doesn’t want to play anymore. A player who wants to play will accommodate the NFL scouts. If he wanted to play, he would have shown up at the Falcons facility at the prescribed time and shown as many NFL scouts what he can do. Changing the time and venue showed he doesn’t want to play. He just wants the publicity which is even more of the reason no NFL team wants to sign him. He’s a fraudulent, megalomaniac, head case who wants to play the victim. NO ONE WANTS THAT TO BE THEIR STARTING QB OR THE FACE OF THEIR FRANCHISE. He needs to stop this nonsense. It’s very annoying.

  7. I still don’t understand how the league could have given him the initial settlement (however much it was) without getting a full release and waiver of any employment liability issues. It seems he received the settlement but can apparently still sue the league. If so, the league was stupid to agree to the initial settlement without a full release.

  8. tsuscrumhalf says:
    November 17, 2019 at 7:54 am
    If he REALLY wanted to play…he’d sign anything. Even a crappy release. He wants the theater of it & to have his name in the news. He could have played in the AAF or CFL to prove himself & improve his skills. He wants the drama, not an opportunity.

    Right and if you really want the house sign the the loan, forget about the terms and conditions.

  9. This whole deal was about current/pending litigation and never about CK playing football. He could have organized a workout/sitdown in 2017 if he really wanted to play. I understand that it’s not as simple as that but the fact that this hasn’t happened until now informs CK’s real objectives. I’d like to see what would happen if a team actually wanted to sign him.

  10. Has there ever been another player in the history of the NFL who has rejected a tryout because of the waiver? Kap does not want to play. He wanted Nike to film him being oppressed for a commercial, and he manufactured his wish into reality.

  11. A football career is a bit different from a house. I’ve been in mine 40 years. Football has a time limit. Some will do whatever it takes to stay in the league. Some won’t. It all begins with choice Neo. I’d say he should have chosen the red pill instead of the blue but that would be too obvious.

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