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Entertainer and businessman Jay-Z was disappointed with Colin Kaepernick ditching the Saturday tryout the NFL organized for the anthem-kneeler on Saturday. Instead, the former 49er organized his own event at a different venue, where only a handful of teams attended.
A source close to Jay-Z told Sports Illustrated that the rapper is “disappointed with Colin’s actions and believes he turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt.”
Jay-Z is widely known as one of Kaepernick’s biggest supporters, and has even been rumored to have had a hand in organizing the Saturday workout with the NFL to help the athlete secure a position with a team.
As noted by The Undefeated, Jay-Z’s Carter’s Roc Nation entertainment company signed on with the NFL this summer to lead the organization’s “music and entertainment endeavors, including advising on the selection of artists for the Super Bowl halftime show, a production that has presented challenges for the league.”
Following the announcement, the entertainment mogul made what some presumed to be a dig at Kaepernick. When asked by a reporter if he’d “kneel or stand,” Jay-Z responded: “I think we’re past kneeling. I think it’s time to go into actionable items. I think everyone knows what the issue is, and we’re done with that. … Okay, next. Where we moving on next?”
— WilkinLeaks (@wilkinsleaks) August 15, 2019
As reported by The Daily Wire, Kaepernick cancelled the scheduled NFL workout abruptly on Saturday, about a half hour before the session was to begin, apparently because he had to sign a liability waiver and wasn’t allowed to bring his own camera crew.
However, according to the NFL, the waiver in question was a “standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players.”
The NFL also claimed Kaepernick did not inform them of his request to have his own personal camera crew attend the event until Friday night: “We heard for the first time last night, around the same time we heard from Nike, that Colin wanted to bring his own video crew. We heard for the first time this afternoon that Colin wanted to open the event to all media,” the league said in a statement.
The 32-year-old, who hasn’t played since he opted out of his contract in 2016, blamed the NFL for his workout snub.
“Y’all have been attacked for the last three years. Y’all continue to be attacked,” he told fans in front of reporters on Saturday. “We appreciate what y’all do. We appreciate you being here today, and we appreciate the work that you do for the people in telling the truth. That’s what we want with everything”
“I’ve been ready for three years. I’ve been denied for three years,” Kaepernick continued. “We all know why I came out here today and showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide, so we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running. To stop running from the truth. To stop running from the people. We’re out here. We’re ready to play. We’re ready to go anywhere.”
As previously noted by The Daily Wire, Kaepernick, a multimillionaire sponsored by Nike, wore a “Kunta Kinte” t-shirt at the event, seemingly comparing himself to a defiant slave.