Last week, NFL Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Joe Lockhart told reporters that he fully expected Colin Kaepernick to be invited to attend the next meeting between NFL players, their representatives and the league to discuss how the NFL could better support players in their activism efforts.
Those comments were echoed by Philadelphia Eagles safety Michael Jenkins, who told reporters that Kaepernick had already been invited to participate in a previous meeting, but didn’t attend.
Kaepernick’s attorney, however, told Slate that those reports are incorrect and that Kaepernick has not been invited to anything.
When Slate asked the attorney, Mark Geragos, if his client had been invited to attend the player-owner summit scheduled for this week, Geragos said no, saying, “We specifically reached out to the NFL Players Association and to the Players Coalition [the group led by Jenkins] and we were verbatim told that Colin had no role.”
After Houston Texans owner Bob McNair apologized Friday for his controversial “inmates running the prison” remarks, the Players Coalition extended an invitation for McNair, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Kaepernick to attend a Monday meeting in Philadelphia to discuss player concerns.
Kaepernick’s attorneys told Slate they were not aware of the proposed meeting until the details of the letter were made public by ESPN.
Slate obtained copies of several emails between Kaepernick’s attorneys, the NFL Players Association and Malcolm Jenkins, all of which indicate that contrary to what both Lockhart and Jenkins had previously said, Kaepernick had not been formally invited to attend any meetings—past or future.
On Sunday, ESPN’s NFL reporter Jim Trotter reported that Monday’s proposed meeting with Goodell, McNair, the Players Coalition and Kaepernick was no longer happening.
So, once again, Kaepernick is out in the cold. What once looked like a hopeful situation has returned to one of letdown and disappointment.
Players across the league continue to kneel and sit in protest of racial injustice, and the man who started the protests alone remains standing, jobless and alone.
Read more at Slate.