Kap’s NFL Workout With Kunta Kinte Shirt And Demands Set Off Debate On Twitter
In a move that had some people scratching their heads, Colin Kaepernick changed his highly anticipated NFL workout from the Atlanta Falcons facility to a local Atlanta high school more than 30 minutes away. He did this less than an hour before the scheduled start time.
Then Kaepernick walked onto the field wearing a Kunta Kinte T-shirt – which some applauded as a sign that he wouldn’t allow the NFL to shackle him. Others, like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, berated the move. The debate raged on Twitter.
Smith said Kaepernick “don’t want to play … he wants to be a martyr.” In a video posted to Twitter, Smith ranted, “This man wanted a chance. Twenty-five teams show up in Georgia at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility – state of the art facility, NFL personnel, equipment, everything, video, everything, and what does Colin Kaepernick do? … Three hours before the workout because of some issue with a liability waiver, Colin Kaepernick wants to change the venue, Colin Kaepernick wants his own receivers, Colin Kaepernick wants to video things himself … You don’t want to work. You just want to make noise and you want to control the narrative.”
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According to Complex, a source also reported that Jay-Z – who was one of Kaepernick’s biggest supporters before signing a partnership deal with the NFL – was also disappointed with the way the former San Francisco 49ers QB handled the workout. Complex reported that its source said Jay-Z felt Kaepernick “turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt.”
Kaepernick’s loyal friends and supporters saw the move as necessary on his part. Longtime friend and fellow kneeler Eric Reid came to his defense, telling Smith he was “tap dancing for the NFL” with a video of Daffy Duck dancing.
Award-winning filmmaker Ava Duvernay posted a meme that shows a door being slammed in someone’s face in response to Smith.
Kaepernick’s camp said they changed the workout because of issues with “an unusual” liability waiver the NFL wanted them to sign and to make sure everything could be done in the open.
“First, Let me start by saying I appreciate ya’ll coming out. That means a lot to me. Our biggest thing with everything today was making sure we had transparency with what went on. We weren’t getting that elsewhere, so we came out here. It’s important that y’all are here,” Kaepernick said after his workout.
“I’ve been ready for three years; I’ve been denied for three years. 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 of them to stop running; stop running from the truth, stop running from the people,” Kaepernick continued.
According to the NFL, representatives from 25 of their 32 teams were present at the Falcons facility. They released a statement saying they did everything they could to accommodate Kaepernick and were “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout.” Only eight of those teams followed Kaepernick to the new workout location.
The debate went far beyond Kaepernick’s camp, the NFL and celebrities. Twitter users had plenty to say about this latest chapter in the Kapernick/NFL saga. Some are #StillWithKap and others are over it.