After initially agreeing to provide the list of personnel executives and coaches that would attend Colin Kaepernick’s workout￼ Saturday to the quarterback’s representatives, the NFL has reversed course and now says it will not, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Currently, no NFL decision-maker has confirmed he will attend the workout, sources said. None of the NFL teams that have confirmed that they will attend the workout have identified by name who will attend.
Several high-level NFL executives have reached out as a courtesy to Kaepernick’s representatives to say they couldn’t attend and were caught off guard and confused by the purpose of the NFL scheduling the workout.
The NFL informed its clubs Tuesday that a private workout would be held for Kaepernick on Saturday in Atlanta. It is set to include both on-field work and an interview with the quarterback, who has been out of football since 2016, the year he began protesting police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the pregame national anthem.
Sources previously told ESPN that Kaepernick and his reps were alerted to the workout at 10 a.m. Tuesday, ahead of a 4 p.m. ET personnel notice that the league sent to teams. When notified, the quarterback’s reps asked for the workout to be on a Tuesday, which typically is when NFL workouts take place because head coaches and general managers can more easily attend. On Saturday, almost half of the NFL teams will be traveling to games, and most of the rest of the coaches and players will be heading to their team hotels to prepare for their games the next day.
But the NFL said the workout had to be on a Saturday, sources previously told ESPN. When the league was asked whether it could be on the following Saturday — by making it this Saturday, the 32 teams have only about three days to make a decision on whether to attend and whom to send — the NFL said no and didn’t provide a reason.
Sources previously told ESPN that the league office also said none of the 32 teams had been made aware of the workout before the memo was sent. When Kaepernick’s representatives asked whether a team or teams had asked for the workout, the NFL league office said, “We can’t tell you that,” the reps explained.
Because of the shroud of mystery around the workout and because none of the teams had been informed before Tuesday, Kaepernick’s representatives began to question the legitimacy of the workout and the process and wonder whether it was just a public relations stunt by the league, sources previously told ESPN. The representatives asked the league office for a list of personnel executives and coaches who would be attending the workout because GMs and head coaches make personnel decisions, especially given how important the quarterback position is.
As things stand now, the NFL has decided not to provide that list.
The Kaepernick workout remained a hot topic Wednesday across the league.
Coaches for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers said they expected to have a representative at the Falcons’ practice facility on Saturday. In addition, John Elway told 9News that the Denver Broncos will be represented, and a Washington Redskins spokesman said that organization would be there. A source told ESPN’s Ed Werder that the Dallas Cowboys also plan to be at the workout.
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, who was the first player to join Kaepernick in taking a knee while with the Niners during the pregame national anthem to protest social injustice, said Wednesday “it feels disingenuous” that the NFL would schedule a workout for the QB on Saturday.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Reid said Wednesday. “At this point, it feels like a PR stunt.”