Report: Seahawks Cancel Meeting with Colin Kaepernick After He Refuses to Stop Anthem Protests

AP Photo Ted S. Warren
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Seattle Seahawks canceled a visit with Colin Kaepernick after he refused to say he would stop protesting during the playing of the national anthem.

Schefter reported that the Seahawks tried to get the former NFL player to commit to ending his protests, but Kaepernick refused:

The Seahawks had already shed their most outspoken anthem protester Michael Bennett. Presumably, bringing on yet another well-known protester would have been self-defeating.

The Seahawks insistence that Kaepernick commit to end his protests coincided with the Cincinnati Bengals grilling past anthem protester Eric Reid, over whether he planned to protest in this season. In addition, Bengals Owner Mike Brown plans to put an end to anthem protests at Paul Brown Stadium, according to reports.

Clearly, team owners have decided that the anthem protests have been damaging to the league’s bottom line. The NFL lost 23 million viewers last year, with anthem protests often cited as a reason why people stopped watching.

Reaction on Twitter to Schefter’s report was immediate, with outspoken ESPN writer Jemele Hill leading the pack:

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that although the Seahawks canceled Kaepernick’s workout, as Schefter reported, the decision had more to do with lack of a general plan, not just the anthem:

While its perfectly understandable that Kaepernick wouldn’t have much in the way of a plan, since, other than a brief passing exhibition in Houston, he’s been primarily engaged in social activism for well over a year.

The fact that Seattle scheduled a workout in the first place, shows that they must have been reasonably convinced that Kaepernick had football in his plans for next year. So, if the issue of anthem protests didn’t derail the process, then what did?

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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