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Kaepernick's reps call audible, workout moved at last minute

In this Oct. 11, 2018, file photo, former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick smiles on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. Photo: Steven Senne/Associated Press file photo
In this Oct. 11, 2018, file photo, former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick smiles on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass.

Updated: November 16, 2019 04:16 PM

Club representatives were given short notice of a big change of plans for Colin Kaepernick's NFL workout.

Just 15 minutes before Kaepernick was scheduled to work out Saturday for 25 NFL teams at the Atlanta Falcons' training complex in Flowery Branch, representatives for the exiled quarterback announced the session had been moved 60 miles away to a high school in Riverdale.

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The representatives said they called the audible to let the media watch and videotape the workout, adding the shift was prompted "because of recent decisions made by the NFL."

"From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one," his representatives said in a statement.

It was a stunning move that seemed to catch everyone off-guard, and came about an hour before the rescheduled workout was set to begin.

A number of NFL scouts had already gone inside the Falcons' indoor training facility when word came Kaepernick's session was being shifted from the sprawling suburbs north of Atlanta to Charles Drew High School in Riverdale — south of the city, near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

It was not known how many teams would be attending the workout in the new location.

Dozens of media had been set up in a fenced-off parking next to the Falcons' facility.

Former NFL head coach Hue Jackson and Joe Philbin had been set to run the drills.

"We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout," the NFL said in a statement. "He informed us of that decision at 2:30 pm today along with the public. Today's session was designed to give Colin what he has consistently said he wants – an opportunity to show his football readiness and desire to return to the NFL."

Kaepernick's status with the NFL is unchanged, the statement said, and he is free to sign with any team at any time.

The former Pro Bowl quarterback hasn't played since the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers. He helped start a wave of protests about social and racial injustice that season by kneeling during the national anthem at games.

The NFL in February settled a collusion grievance Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid filed against the league. Reid now plays for the Carolina Panthers.

Kaepernick's representatives said the NFL "demanded" as a precondition for this workout that he sign an "unusual liability waiver." The reps said Kaepernick asked that media and an independent film crew be allowed to attend and videotape the original workout, and that the NFL denied the request.

"Based on the prior conduct by the NFL league office, Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process which is why a new location has been selected for today," the representatives said.

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Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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