The NFL, team owners, and a handful of players met in New York on Tuesday to discuss national anthem protests.
The league has already said it would like to move past protesting during the anthem and find a way to promote players’ work in their respective communities.
As the meeting concluded, the NFL said it was a “productive” session and both sides will continue to work together to find a way forward. It did not sound like any formal decisions had been made over protests.
But perhaps one of the most interesting take-away in the aftermath of the meeting was the potential inclusion going forward of the man at the center of the controversy: Colin Kaepernick.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told reporters after the meeting that Kaepernick was invited to the meeting but didn’t join.
Afterward, Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, released a statement saying Kaepernick was not officially invited by the NFL but would consider joining in the future:
CBS’s Jason La Canfora followed up with a report that some players felt Kaepernick should have been involved in the conversation all along.
If the meetings between owners and players continue, it could set up a scenario where Kaepernick, in the midst of a grievance that NFL owners colluded not to sign him, finds himself at the league office discussing the protest that he alleges led to this collusion.
It’s unclear what would coerce Kaepernick to the meeting. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reported Kaepernick chose not to attend so as not to be a distraction. Perhaps an official invite from the NFL would get Kaepernick to attend.
If Kaepernick does end up at a meeting, it could change the entire narrative around the protests, the league’s solutions going forward, and perhaps even his own collusion grievance.
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