Former San Francisco 49 ers quarterbackColin Kaepernick will hit the field Saturday afternoon for a private training sessionhosted by the NFL, nearly three years after he was last on a team.
The 32 – year-old free agent confirmed the workout in a tweet on Tuesday saying he’s “been in shape and ready for this for 3 years.”
The NFL said in astatementThursday that 11 teams have committed to attend Kaepernick’s workout. They are Arizona, Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Miami, New England, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, and Washington.
The league also said it expects additional teams to attend the session. There have beenreports that more than 24 teams have committedto watching Kaepernick show off his football skills.
“We are looking forward to Saturday’s workout with Colin,” the NFL said in its statement, adding that a video of the session and an interview with Kaepernick will be sent to all 32 teams in the league.
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On Saturday morning, the hashtag “StillWithKap” began trending on Twitter as celebrities and fans wished the free agent good luck.
Kaepernick’s former teammate, Eric Reid, however, expressed concern that the NFL arranging a workout for the former quarterback was a publicity stunt.
During a locker room interview with reporters on Wednesday, Reid – who was wearing a black T-shirt with the hashtag “IMWITHKAP” on it – said: “Every move that the NFL has made up until this point has been PR for them, has been disingenuous, and I don’t think that this is any different. “
” But, we’ll see what happens , “Reid, a safety for the Carolina Panthers, said in the on-camera interview, published by theCharlotte Observer
The workout, which the NFL arranged, will be held at the Atlanta Falcons training facilit y in Flowery Branch, about 44 miles northeast of Atlanta, and will include an interview opportunity and on-field training session.
Former NFL head coach Hue Jackson will lead the workout, the league said. Jackson toldESPNthat the NFL asked him to lead the drills and he’s “excited” to do it.
Kaepernick has not been signed by any team since he opted out of his contract with the 49 ers in March 2017 to become a free agent. The athlete made headlines during the 2016 season for kneeling during the National Anthem before games to protest systematic racism.
The action led to intense backlash, including from President Donald Trump who repeatedly tweeted his criticism of Kaepernick and other athletes for taking a knee. In a2017 interview, Trump suggested that if the NFL would have suspended Kaepernick it would have stopped him from kneeling .
Kaepernick and Reid, who was also on the 49 ers then and who joined in kneeling, filed grievances against the NFL for allegedly colluding against them to keep them from playing. In February,the NFL settled the cases with the two athletes.
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