Kaepernick a glaring omission from mediation

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick "taking a knee" last October before his NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in protest at the racial inequality in the US and police treatment towards African Americans.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick "taking a knee" last October before his NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in protest at the racial inequality in the US and police treatment towards African Americans.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was asked by fellow players to attend Tuesday's meeting with National Football League (NFL) owners about issues related to the players' protests during the United States national anthem, according to one player and Kaepernick's legal representatives.

However, he was not on hand as players met owners for approximately four hours at the league's offices.

Afterwards, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was asked about Kaepernick not being invited to the get-together.

"He was invited, actually," Jenkins said. "He was invited."

Asked why Kaepernick did not attend, Jenkins said: "I don't know. I can't answer that question."

Kaepernick began the players' protest movement last season when, while with the 49ers, he refused to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner prior to games to protest against racial inequality and police treatment of African Americans in the US.

He remains unsigned this season after opting out of his contract with the 49ers following last season. The team said it would not have kept Kaepernick under the terms of that deal.

Kaepernick retained Los Angeles-based attorney Mark Geragos and filed a grievance accusing NFL teams of improperly colluding against him.

Geragos' firm issued a written statement later on Tuesday that said: "Colin Kaepernick was not invited to attend today's meeting by any official from the NFL or any team executives.

"Other players wanted him (to be) present and have asked that he attend the next meeting with the goal of forging a lasting and faithful consensus around these issues.

"Kaepernick is open to future participation on these important issues."

The meeting ended with no agreement on the thorny issue of the protests which have bitterly divided the sport.

But a joint statement released by the NFL and the NFL Players Association described the meeting in New York as "productive".

"NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilise our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change," the statement said.

"We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together." WASHINGTON POST,

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2017, with the headline 'Kaepernick a glaring omission from mediation'. Print Edition | Subscribe