NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league has “moved on” following Colin Kaepernick’s workout last month, which became controversial when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback changed the venue at the last minute.
The NFL was set to hold a private workout for the 32-year-old free agent quarterback, who hasn’t played since opting out of his 49ers contract after the 2016 season, at the Atlanta Falcons team facility.
At least 25 teams reportedly planned to send representatives to scout Kaepernick.
But less than an hour before it was set to start, Kaepernick changed the venue and time of the workout, which ended up being held at a high school outside Atlanta. His representatives claimed to have taken issue with a liability form the NFL wanted him to sign.
“Additionally, Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency. The NFL denied this request,” his agent, Jeff Nalley, and attorney, Ben Meiselas, said in a statement at the time.
Due to the last-minute change, representatives from just eight teams showed up to watch the quarterback work out. While Kaepernick sent video of the workout to the other teams, little to no interest materialized in signing him.
Now, Goodell says the league has “moved on.”
“This was … about creating an opportunity, which Colin’s representatives came out in early October and we created that opportunity,” Goodell told reporters Wednesday at the NFL owners’ meeting in Texas, according to CNN.
“It was a unique opportunity,” Goodell added, as Reuters reported, “and he chose not to take it. I understand that.”
“We’ve moved on,” the league commissioner said.
Kaepernick became a controversial figure during the 2016 season due to his decision to protest the national anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said at the time.
In a statement after Kaepernick changed the venue of his workout, the league said it had gone to great lengths to accommodate him, including letting Nike, for whom Kaepernick is a spokesman, film the workout.
NFL’s response to Colin Kaepernick opting to do his own workout today in Atlanta: pic.twitter.com/uvUZGH7CQ5
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2019
But Kaepernick took a confrontational tone in talking about his hopes of being signed.
“I’ve been ready for three years,” he told reporters following his workout. “I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why. I came out here today and showed it in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. 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.”