After a last-minute venue change to facilitate media access caused a short delay, Colin Kaepernick's workout finally kicked off on Saturday. Due to the sudden change of plans, however, the session got off to a rough start.
As news of the change in venue initially surfaced, Sports Illustrated reporter Michael Silver revealed on Twitter that former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson would no longer attend. "Hue Jackson flew to Atlanta this morning to conduct the Kaepernick workout at the league's request," he wrote. "Kaepernick's agent invited him to attend the relocated workout (which is more than an hour from the original location) less than an hour before it was due to begin. Jackson, however, is headed back to the airport."
Jackson was originally set to lead the drills.
There was some good news early on from the session, though. Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem alongside Kaepernick in 2016, was in attendance to show his support.
Due to the smooth arrival of Kaepernick at the new site, it was speculated by some that he had this second location planned just in case the NFL didn't meet his team's demands.
Just as the workout started, NFL released a statement in response to Kaepernick opting to do his own workout instead of the NFL-organized one. "We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout. He informed us of that decision at 2:30 p.m. today along with the public," the statement reads.
"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," the statement continues, before explaining 25 clubs were present for the workout. "Colin's decision has no effect on his status in the League. He remains an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club."
As a livestream documenting the workout surfaced on YouTube, fans and LeBron James began to show their support in getting Kaepernick back in the NFL. He also wore the Kunta Kinte shirt during his workout.
Many were quick to highlight how good Kaepernick's arm looked during the stream, in particular.
Here are some more highlights.
According to ESPN's Howard Bryant, only six teams from 24 attended the workout at the new location. More info on the weekend's timeline here:
Prior to the start of the workout, Kaepernick supporters and protesters were spotted outside of the Falcons facility, with the support far outweighing the anti-Kaepernick crowd.
Colin Kaepernick's team changed the time and location of the private workout session, calling the NFL's process illegitimate. The session was pushed back an hour to 4 p.m. ET, moving from the Falcons training facility. Team representatives and members of the media were given the new location, Charles R. Drew High School, upon request.
"The NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick's representatives," the statement read. "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 request."