So, there are these meetings planned between NFL players and NFL leadership, the expressed goal of which is for players to express “concerns” so that “progress can be made.”
These meetings, some of which have already happened, were arranged by the Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, who refers to the group he assembled the NFL Players Coalition, not to be confused with the NFL Players Association. Another players-owners summit has been scheduled for this week, and if Colin Kaepernick’s attorney has anything to say about it, his client will definitely be there this time, if he’s invited, which he hasn’t been.
“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,” Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos told Slate when asked about reports that Kaepernick had been invited to attend a player/owner summit that’s scheduled for this week.
Your first thought may be that the reason for this is obvious: This is a meeting for NFL players and NFL owners, and Colin Kaepernick is neither. But of course the fact of Kaepernick not being an NFL player seems to be a major complaint of the Players Coalition, and anyway it was Kaepernick who started all this in the first place.
Having him there seems like an obvious move.
But here’s where it gets weird. Jenkins said he invited Kaepernick to an Oct. 17 meeting with owners — this was the meeting in which Texans owner Bob McNair got himself in trouble — and didn’t know why Kaepernick never showed up. The NFL also says it expects Kaepernick to be in attendance next time.
So there is a meeting scheduled, and both parties want Colin Kaepernick to be there, clearing up this whole thing, right?
Somebody appears to be either outright lying, or leaving out some pertinent information.
Kaepernick’s attorney says Kaepernick has never received a formal or informal invitation to these meetings, and he’d really like to know who’s responsible, and when and where the next meeting will occur, so his client may attend, in the event he is invited, which he’d very much like to be, because he’s totally available.
Geragos has been e-mailing the Players Association — which, again, does not have a direct role in this — and the NFL itself, and just keeps getting the runaround, Slate reported. The NFL says it isn’t responsible for the invitations and doesn’t know who is. The Players Association says it thinks Kaepernick should be invited, and reiterated the Jenkins did invite him, but that ultimately the NFLPA is not the organization making the invitations, so this complaint should be directed elsewhere.
That places this all on Jenkins, who on Thursday received a sternly worded email from Kaepernick’s attorney, requesting that Jenkins release a statement admitting he never invited Kaepernick, and also to go ahead and let Kaepernick know when and where the next meeting was, a meeting to which Kaepernick has not been invited.
Yesterday, and today, several major media outlets reported that Mr. Kaepernick was invited to attend the next meeting. This is false. In fact, I reached out to both the NFL and NFLPA and each stated that they were not, and are not, responsible for invitations. I have emails from both the NFL and NFLPA confirming this.
In fact, the NFLPA stated it was not aware if a player meeting was going to take place next week, and were entirely unaware of the date and time for any purported meeting.
That e-mail goes on to request, in writing, (1) confirmation that Kaepernick is invited, (2) clarification on who is actually the one inviting him, (3) a list of who else is invited, and (4) the meeting’s agenda. It then reiterates that Kaepernick is interested in discussing the ideas he has led “in a meaningful way.”
That invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.