Colin Kaepernick is still an NFL outcast, but this week some good news came for him when news broke that he lands a workout session with some teams in attendance.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith strongly believes that Jay-Z is the reason that Kaepernick has secured an upcoming workout for teams. One of, if not the most popular football player in the United States is Colin Rand Kaepernick. However, he is not best known for his quarterback skills but his role as an activist. He was the person responsible for kicking off the viral kneeling during the playing of the national anthem during football games. This was heroically done in protest of police brutality and racism against African Americans. Unfortunately, this led to a huge backlash and has negatively impacted his career as Kap has been out of a job as a NFL player for the past three seasons, becoming a free agent back in 2017. Many have stated that the league blackballed him, and now he is unwanted by NFL teams.
In August of this year, rapper Jay-Z announced a partnership with the NFL, sadly it was met with negative reviews as many claimed Jay-Z was selling out. This partnership saw Roc Nation securing the role of “live music entertainment strategist” for the NFL as well as having a hand in Inspire Change, which is the NFL social justice initiative. This initiative would be in line with getting a player like Kaepernick back on the field in the eyes of Smith. This is why after Kaepernick tweeted that he has an NFL orchestrated workout in Atlanta on Saturday, November 16, 2019, Smith immediately named HOV as the instigator.
Smith stated that Jay-Z has been pulling strings behind the scenes to make it possible for Kap to return to the game. “To me the name that comes to my mind is JAY-Z,” he stated (via HiphopDX). “Why? Because JAY-Z meets with Commissioner Roger Goodell. At that particular moment in time, he’s excoriated. All of a sudden, Hov, who everybody loved, a whole buncha folks turned against him, accusing him of selling out, turning in his black card and all of this ridiculous nonsense. And what did he say? He said listen, folks are gonna work behind the scenes.”
Smith elaborated on his concerns stating, “[He] called the NFL office, called the Players Association, spoke to a whole bunch of people. Clearly there appears to be a collective effort that has taken place to include these teams with league participation and league approval. So, obviously it appears to be something very, very serious and the only thing that can get in the way of Colin Kaepernick being back in the NFL is if he refuses to shut up and/or he goes out there and shows that he can’t play.”
Smith is just one of man individuals who believes that Jay-Z was the figurehead of this deal as NFL Network insider Ian Rappaport stated that Hov had “some influence” in Kaepernick’s workout.
Many other media outlets and sports personnel have been sounding off about Kap’s Workout, citing it as “disingenuous.” Regardless of how this workout came about, fans are excited for Kap’s possible return to football. NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith tweeted this in response to the workout, “Long overdue; well deserved chance.”
Colin Kaepernick himself tweeted that he is ready for the workout and has been for the past three years, “I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.”
I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2019
We wish Colin Kaepernick the best of luck at this weekend’s workout session.
Two notes: 1. Jay-Z, a partner with the NFL on social justice, had some influence here. 2. This is not part of Kaepernick’s settlement, nor did he ask for this in his settlement. https://t.co/6l7z3MYJ5x
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 13, 2019