NEW YORK — Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was asked by fellow players to attend Tuesday’s meeting with NFL owners about issues related to players’ protests during the national anthem, according to one player and Kaepernick’s legal representatives.
Kaepernick was not on hand as players met with owners for approximately four hours at the league’s offices, however. Afterward, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was asked about Kaepernick not being invited.
“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 national anthem before games to protest racial inequality and police treatment of African Americans in the United States.
He remains unsigned this season after opting out of his contract with the 49ers following last season. The team said it would not have retained Kaepernick under the terms of that deal. Kaepernick retained Los Angeles-based attorney Mark J. Geragos and filed a grievance accusing NFL teams of improperly colluding against him.
Geragos’s firm issued a written statement later 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 present and have asked that he attend the next meeting with the goal of forging a lasting and faithful consensus around these issues. Mr. Kaepernick is open to future participation on these important issues.”
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