Colin Kaepernick has reportedly been invited to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell one-on-one, but there are conflicting reports on whether the free-agent quarterback has responded to the invitation, according to ESPN.
Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos told ABC News they “responded immediately that Colin would be happy to attend” but that the meeting fell through when the league turned down a request for a mediator to be present. According to ESPN, the NFL doesn’t want a third-party involved in its discussions with players and owners on social issues.
League spokesman Joe Lockhart said that Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, texted Kaepernick on Oct. 31 and extended the invitation for him to meet with Goodell. Lockhart said the league hasn’t heard back from the former San Francisco 49ers star since.
Geragos disputed the notion that Kaepernick did not respond.
“We responded immediately that Colin would be happy to attend,” Geragos said in a statement provided to ABC News. “Because of the grievance, we asked that a mediator be present. A mediator also would ensure that the discussions were productive and confidential and not used as a PR stunt or prop by the league. Colin’s proposal was rejected.”
Lockhart fired back after that claim, telling ESPN: “Mr. Geragos’ statement alone violates the collective bargaining agreement, breaking the confidentiality of the grievance process. So he can save his lecture on PR stunts. The invitation remains open.”
Lockhart previously told Yahoo! Sports that Vincent had reached out to Kaepernick directly.
“This isn’t about his lawyer. This isn’t about a mediator. The question of, ‘Has [Colin] been invited in?’ the answer is yes,” Lockhart told Yahoo! “This isn’t part of any grievance process. This is part of the overall discussion we’ve been having on some of these social issues.”
Lockhart said earlier Tuesday during a conference call that the NFL would welcome Kaepernick’s participation in its larger meetings involving league executives, players and owners.
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(Photo Credit: Associated Press)