The 32-month Colin Kaepernick unemployment has resulted in plenty of false narratives. And there’s a new one that has emerged in the aftermath of Saturday’s aborted workout at the Falcons’ facility.
It goes like this: “The waiver that Kaepernick was asked to sign on Saturday is essentially the same one he’d have to sign to work out for a team during the season.”
On Sunday, PFT obtained the waiver that the league wanted Kaepernick to sign. On Monday, PFT obtained one of the same ones he’d have to sign to work out for a team during the season.
They are very different.
The Kaepernick waiver can be seen here. On Sunday, it was analyzed here. The waiver he’d have to sign to work out for a team during the season contains language much more narrow and much more focused on injuries that could be sustained during the workout, with no acknowledgement that “Player acknowledges that he has been made no promise of employment, and understands that his participation in the Workout does not constitute employment” and no general waiver of “any and all claims . . . caused by, arising out of, occurring during, or related directly or indirectly to the Workout, Player’s presence at the Facility, and any medical treatment or services rendered in connection with or necessitated by Player’s participation in the Workout.”
The waiver obtained by PFT from an NFL team fits on only one page, and it focuses only on liability arising from injuries occuring while on the team’s premises and/or during the workout. The document also contains an acknowledgement of the risks and hazards of trying out for a professional football team, and an express assumption of the risk of engaging in the tryout on the team’s premises.
There’s nothing about the workout not constituting employment, and there’s no broad waiver of claims “related directly or indirectly” to the workout.
It’s possible that other teams use waivers with broader language. But to the extent that anyone is pushing to members of the media the idea that the waiver Kaepernick was asked to sign is essentially the same as the waiver he’d have to sign if/when a team actually gives him a workout at the team’s facility, that’s simply not the case.
It’s important here because of the history of litigation between the two sides, and regarding the possibility for more litigation, if Kaepernick continues to be shunned and if he believes that a formal grievance would yield sufficient evidence that collusion continues after the settlement of his first collusion claim in February 2019. As mentioned yesterday, it would arguably constitute malpractice for a lawyer to allow the client to sign the release that was presented to Kaepernick, given the past legal battle between Kaepernick and the league.