The Workout of Prospect or PR Stunt in the End?
FINALLY? Or so everyone thought. The world, the Black community especially was excited, some confused, and some asked WTF took so long. The NFL announced that they were FINALLY going to hold a workout for former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick to showcase if he is still NFL ready. But the timing of it all was interesting. The NFL had recently announced that Jay-Z was now working with the NFL and many thought he was behind the organizing of the workout. Some raised questions as to why they waited (think everyone really knows why but that’s a different conversation) so long to finally give a chance. Others asked why he even took the workout or even wants to play for a league that exiled him for exercising his First Amendment rights and take a stand for something he truly believed in. Nonetheless, the workout was filled with drama.
Now, let’s not forget A KEY element to the whole situation, the former QB took a settlement from the NFL and to this day NO ONE knows what the settlement entailed. The NFL sent the initial liability waiver proposal to Kap’s team the day after they announced its spontaneous workout. Two and a half hours before the workout was scheduled to begin, Kap’s team sent a counterproposal and of course the league refused to agree to his terms. In the first paragraph of the NFL’s proposal, the very first paragraph it required Kap agree that “he has made no promise of employment “ by participating in the workout. Also, his team advised him not to sign because he was releasing all 32 teams when the league had yet to tell him what teams were even participating in the workout. The NFL also wanted to use the Atlanta Falcons arena and use their media personnel. Kap disagreed. He told them basically use my media team or restrict ALL media personnel at the workout together.
The actual workout held EVEN more drama! First, the former 49ers QB changed the location literally minutes before the workout. Once the NFL refused to attest to his demands, his team went silent and they went to WORK. Reaching out to his fraternity brothers, if you didn’t know, he is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, local highschools in the area and other members of the community that he built a great repore with over the years. Kap had his own media and even live streamed the workout. Oh and let us not forget he pulled up in Kunta Kinte shirt (if you do not know who that is, strongly advise that you watch The Roots). But his comments post workout sent the media world in a frenzy! “We all know why I came out here and showed it today in front of everybody. WE have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all them to stop running from the truth, stop running from the people. We’re out here, we’re ready to play to go anywhere. My agent Jeff Nalley is ready to talk to any team, I’ll interview with any team anytime. I've been ready, I’m staying ready and I’ll continue to be ready. We’ll be waiting to hear from them. The balls in their court. We’re to go.”
This quote right here sent shockwaves across the nation BUT also put the nation in the divide, Was he wrong for his comments? Or was he just to use his platform? Stephen A Smith had A LOT to say!
If you follow are a true follower of sports then you know Stephen A has absolutely no problem speaking his mind and the week leading to the workout and post workout were hectic for the famed sports anchor. He went back and forth with Eric Reid on twitter and was even called a coon for not totally agreeing with how Kap handled the workout. And he responded to the critics in vintage Stephen A style “When I sit up there, and I sat here yesterday, and I spoke about how his points are eradicated, I’m not talking about the kneeling. I’m not talking about the protesting. I’m a black man, you idiots! You think I have a problem with a man that is kneeling and protesting racial oppression and police brutality? Do you know anything about my history in 25 years in this damn business? From The New York Daily News to the Philadelphia Inquirer to CNN to Fox to ESPN. Do you have any idea about my damn background and the fights that I have taken on the behalf of African Americans throughout this nation’s history? Do you have any idea who the hell you are talking about?” Stephen A felt like Kap should have handled the workout more professionally and shouldn’t have showed up to the workout with the Kunta Kinte shirt on. Terrell Ownes even came to ESPN’s First Take and in the middle of a heated argument with Stephen A tells him that his co-host Max Killerman was more of a black man than Stephen A was because he disagreed with his actions. Many people even called him a Trump supporter.
It has been almost a month since the workout and NOT ONE team has called him back. Was Stephen A right did he ruin his chances or did the NFL set him up out the gate?