Seattle, WA – The Seattle Seahawks postponed an invitation for former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick to visit their headquarters because he wouldn’t promise to discontinue his kneeling protests during the National Anthem.
Kaepernick became the most controversial player in the NFL after he began kneeling during the anthem in protest of racism and police brutality.
Two weeks ago, the Seahawks invited Kaepernick to visit during a pre-season camp, and to work out with the team, sources told ESPN. Plans were made and travel was booked, and everything was set to go.
However, “the trip was unexpectedly scuttled over the Seahawks' last-minute stipulation regarding Kaepernick's anthem stance,” ESPN reported.
ESPN’s source said that the Seattle team wanted the controversial quarterback’s word that he wouldn’t continue kneeling during the national anthem if he was offered an opportunity with their team.
Kaepernick was unwilling to make that commitment, so the Seahawks “postponed” his visit.
The source told ESPN the decision wasn’t final and that Seattle was still considering whether to give the former San Francisco 49er a shot; however, on Friday, the Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent quarterback Stephen Morris, KIRO reported.
The day after the cancelled visit would have taken place, Kaepernick was in New York to give his deposition to attorneys for the NFL in his case that alleged the league was conspiring against him to keep the controversial quarterback unemployed.
Critics have said Kaepernick’s unwillingness to cooperate with standards and policies of teams who are potential employers has kept him off the field since he was released by the 49ers, not a league conspiracy.
There’s much speculation that many NFL teams have no desire to attract the wrath of patriotic football-watching Americans who are angry about players’ kneeling protests during the anthem for the past two seasons.
In fact, ESPN reported that when the Cincinnati Bengals interviewed San Francisco 49ers free-agent safety Eric Reid, who has knelt alongside Kaepernick in the past, they also asked for his assurances that he would not participate in any activism on the field, too.
Kaepernick has claimed the NFL conspired against him because no team has invited the Super Bowl champion to work out since he left the 49ers and became a free agent in 2016. But in his final two seasons in the NFL, Kaepernick's record was 3-16.
The Baltimore Ravens reportedly considered Kaepernick briefly before the 2017 season; however, blowback from outraged Ravens fans on social media quickly put the kibosh on those plans after the quarterback's girlfriend tweeted a racist meme of the Ravens owner.
ESPN had reported that the Seahawks were still struggling to solve their quarterback woes, and hadn’t taken Kaepernick out of the running just yet. It remained to be seen whether the hiring of Morris signaled the end of the road for Kaepernick with the Seahawks.
The team had begun scrambling after they fired quarterback Trevone Boykin on March 27, the day before he was arrested by Texas authorities on aggravated assault charges after a domestic violence incident with his longtime girlfriend, USA Today reported.