RIVERDALE, Ga. — Colin Kaepernick’s lengthy adventure from Tremendous Bowl quarterback to N.F.L. exile to media system made a pit forestall at Charles R. Drew Prime Faculty south of Atlanta on Saturday.

There, in shorts and a black tank most sensible, the previous San Francisco 49ers megastar zipped passes to 4 receivers operating routes at the soccer box. 8 N.F.L. scouts seemed on, considered one of them later calling the efficiency “spectacular.” Because the solar pale and the temperature dropped, a pair hundred folks stood alongside a chain-link fence at the back of one finish zone and cheered.

“Keep centered, guy! We consider in you!” one fan yelled.

The query at the moment is who to consider. Phase N.F.L. tryout, phase public rally, phase media circus, the impromptu exercise used to be put in combination in a couple of hours after a contentious week of negotiations between the quarterback and the league. It used to be the newest twist in a showdown that has captivated the sports activities international since Kaepernick started kneeling all the way through the nationwide anthem originally of the 2016 season.

After signing autographs for enthusiasts, many dressed in his 49ers jersey, Kaepernick returned to the sphere and spoke to the media for the primary time in years.

“I’ve been ready for 3 years, I’ve been denied for 3 years and also you all know why,” Kaepernick stated. “I’ve been able. I’m staying able.”

Then he piled right into a van and drove off, leaving as many, if no longer extra, questions on his long run as there have been when he started the day. Probably the most scouts seemed inspired, however does any staff need the eye this is more likely to include signing Kaepernick? His arm seemed robust, however at this level within the season, which staff wishes him? And on and on.

As with a lot of the quarterback’s fresh interactions with the league, Saturday’s exercise used to be the results of unhealthy blood poured on unhealthy blood. On Tuesday, the league referred to as Kaepernick’s agent and gave him two hours to simply accept an be offering for Kaepernick to figure out on the Falcons’ coaching facility an hour north of Atlanta in entrance of all 32 groups — the similar 32 groups that experience declined to ask him to figure out for the previous 3 seasons.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, egged on through Jay-Z, the song impresario who’s now advising the league on social justice problems, presented the olive department to Kaepernick so the groups may see for themselves whether or not the 32-year-old quarterback nonetheless has the abilities to play within the N.F.L.

Kaepernick arrived round 4:10 p.m. and drove onto the sphere of the out of doors stadium. The highschool, simply outdoor Atlanta, is ready 60 miles southwest of the Falcons’ facility.

He got here out and stretched, joked with buddies and hugged his former teammate Eric Reid, who knelt with Kaepernick after they performed for the 49ers. Reid performs for the Carolina Panthers.

Whilst the vibe at the highschool used to be pleasant, with cheers and encouragement, the group in entrance of the Falcons’ facility previous on Saturday used to be combined, with protesters on either side of the principle front to the Falcons’ observe facility.

On one aspect, Jim McIntyre stood with a wood signal that stated “Stand Up For the Flag” that he and his spouse made the night time ahead of. McIntyre, who lives on the town, stated he supported Kaepernick’s proper to loose speech however believed his type of protest used to be disrespectful to the flag, regardless of Kaepernick’s assertions on the contrary.

McIntyre stated he stopped gazing N.F.L. video games when Kaepernick and different gamers started kneeling as it made him uncomfortable. “I truly want the N.F.L. would have a coverage to make gamers stand for the anthem,” he stated.

At the different aspect of the doorway, Scott Brooks sat in a garden chair conserving a handwritten signal that learn “I’m With Kap.” Brooks drove two hours from Tennessee to turn his fortify. Dressed in Kaepernick’s pink 49ers jersey, he stated that he agreed with the quarterback’s objective of elevating consciousness of police brutality towards African-American citizens.



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