ESPN’s Stephen Smith Blasts Colin Kaepernick: ‘He Don’t Want To Play; He Wants To Be A Martyr’
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ESPN’s Stephen Smith Blasts Colin Kaepernick: ‘He Don’t Want To Play; He Wants To Be A Martyr’

On Saturday, ESPN’s Stephen Smith blasted former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick over his behavior on Saturday.

So, let me get this straight. Colin Kaepernick has been working out all of this time. Him, people in this camp, his … loved ones – everybody talking about, “He wants to play football! He wants to play football! He’s ready to play! Just give him the chance!”

So, what does the NFL do, recognizing that teams need a shield because they need something to hide behind because they know that, guess what, “If we bring this brother in for a workout and we don’t like him or we don’t want him, who knows what we’re going to get accused of? We need cover.” So the NFL provides that.

After noting that he’s sure Jay-Z “is involved,” as well as Roger Goodell, et al., Smith stated:

Forget all of that! This man wanted the chance. 25 teams show up in Georgia at the Atlanta Falcons’ practice facility – state of the art facility, NFL personnel, equipment, video, everything – and what does Colin Kaepernick do? Not Tuesday, when he found out about it. Not Wednesday. Not Thursday. Not Friday. Saturday, 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; Colin Kaepernick wants the media. This Colin Kaepernick, media can’t find him! He ain’t done no interviews; he ain’t talked to nobody; media can’t find him – but he wants the media available now.

You see? You see? He don’t want to play; he wants to be a martyr. But guess what? It ain’t working this time.

Smith added that if Kaepernick had simply “showed out,” he would have gotten signed within weeks.

He wanted to show up to a high school in Georgia, not an NFL facility, a high school, and then YouTube it live – like the average Joe out there gets to decide if he’s on an NFL roster. You don’t want to work; you just want to make noise, and you want to control the narrative. It’s over. Colin Kaepernick’s aspiration in the NFL for an NFL career, it’s over.

ESPN reported that on Tuesday, NFL clubs were made aware of a “private workout” featuring former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. According to a memo from the league, teams could attend the event, which would include video recorded “on-the-field work and an interview.”

The memo stated in part: “We have … arranged this opportunity for him to work out, and for all clubs to have the opportunity to evaluate his current readiness and level of interest in resuming his NFL career.”

Kaepernick himself was also made aware of the opportunity on Tuesday.

“The workout was set up to provide teams anonymity, so if they watched Kaepernick and didn’t want him, they wouldn’t catch flack. This was done to encourage more teams to attend the event, thus helping the quarterback secure a position,” reports The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo.

Things took a turn when Kaepernick cancelled the scheduled event approximately half an hour before showtime.

The workout, which was set to take place at the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility, was suddenly moved to Charles Drew High School, in Riverdale, Georgia.

In a series of tweets, Howard Bryant of ESPN said that Kaepernick was initially told by the NFL that “there would be no media access to the workout, which the team agreed to.” Then on Friday, “the NFL suggested that Kaepernick’s own team would be prohibited from filming the workout, thus leaving the NFL as the only entity with access to the video being sent to the 32 teams.”

This allegedly made Kaepernick and his team leery as they believed the NFL might unfairly edit the footage to make the quarterback appear less than capable, according to Bryant.

Additionally, the NFL allegedly wanted Kaepernick to sign a waiver that would prohibit him from suing the NFL if he wasn’t picked up by a team following his display. Sports Illustrated writes that “Kaepernick’s team reportedly responded with a standard injury form.”

The NFL issued a lengthy statement in response to what occurred on Saturday, a portion of which pertains to the waiver:

On Wednesday, we sent Colin’s representatives a standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players. At noon today, Colin’s representatives sent a completely rewritten and insufficient waiver.

Prior to the workout at Charles Drew High School, where just six reps looked on, Kaepernick wore a “Kunta Kinte” shirt (Kunta Kinte is a slave character from the novel and miniseries “Roots”).

Kaepernick also offered a statement following the workout:

Our biggest thing with everything today was making sure we had transparency with what went on.

…Y’all have been attacked for the last three years. Y’all continue to be attacked. We appreciate what y’all do. We appreciate you being here today, [and] we appreciate the work that you do for the people in telling the truth. That’s what we want in everything.

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. We’re out here. We’re ready to play. We’re ready to go anywhere…

I’ll interview with any team at any time. I’ve been ready. I’m staying ready, and I’ll continue to be ready…

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