Colin Kaepernick Reportedly Excluded From Meetings Between Players and NFL Owners

On October 25, ESPN reported Colin Kaepernick was expected to be invited to a forthcoming meeting between NFL owners and players scheduled for November 3. The meeting was spearheaded by Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins as part of the NFL Players Coalition’s ongoing dialogue with league owners centered on players protesting racial inequalities during the singing of the national anthem. A Slate report filed Sunday cites league emails as well as emails from Kaepernick’s attorney denying any invitation has been extended to Kaerpernick.

The chances of a potential meeting between Kaepernick and a group of NFL owners seemed slim, given that Kaep filed a collusion grievance against NFL owners for reportedly blackballing him for his political beliefs and forms of protests.

It's unclear if this is merely a matter of semantics, as Jenkins previously told TMZ that Kaepernick was invited, while Kaepernick's attorneys are maintaining that no formal invite was ever sent. You can see Jenkins remarks about Kaep being invited in the video above at the 1:46 mark.

As Kaepernick remains unsigned in favor of less accomplished quarterbacks, the perception that owners conspired to keep him out of the league has only grown in some circles. Meanwhile, an email obtained by Slate states Kaepernick’s attorney group has confirmed he “is open to participating in, and discussing the ideas he has led, at the next meeting in a meaningful way.”

The proposed meeting comes as players and ownership remain divided on the protests initiated by Kaepernick last season in response to multiple incidents of unarmed black citizens being killed by police during routine stops. The situation has been further inflamed as several NFL owners co-opted Kaepernick’s kneeling protest to use as a response to President Donald Trump saying owners should fire players engaging in such protests. 

With Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatening to bench any player he felt disrespected the flag, things intensified. A subsequent revelation that Houston Texans owner Bob McNair referred to players as “inmates” further angered other players.

Whether or not Kaepernick attends Tuesday’s meeting, there appears to be a clear rift between owners unhappy with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the protests. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter report Jones is spearheading a group of 17 owners intent on halting Goodell’s contract extension. Given how Goodell has botched the Ray Rice domestic violence incident, brokering peace between players and ownership over peaceful protests and “Deflategate,” Jones' actions aren’t particularly surprising.

Depending on how the next round of meetings plays out, there is a potential scenario where both Goodell and Kaepernick would both be out of the league within two years of the protests Kaep initiated last season.
You can read Stahl’s full report via Slate.

 

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Ezekiel Elliott Suspended 6 Games by NFL Following Domestic Violence Investigation (UPDATE)

UPDATED 6 p.m. ET:

On Friday afternoon, Elliott's lawyer responded with a statement that invoked alleged text messages sent by the Cowboy running back's ex-girlfriend, where she purportedly asked a friend to lie to police about the incident. That statement said, in full:

We just learned of the NFL’s decision to suspend Mr. Elliott for six games for allegedly engaging in ‘physical force’ against the accuser. Mr. Elliott and his team of representatives are extremely disappointed with the NFL’s decision.

“Our offices have been engaged in this matter since last July and have worked hand in hand with the Columbus Prosecutor’s office as well as the NFL with their respective investigations. Accordingly, we are fully aware of the full body of evidence that exists in connection with this matter.

“The NFL’s findings are replete with factual inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions and it ‘cherry picks’ so called evidence to support its conclusion while ignoring other critical evidence.

“For example, both the Columbus Prosecutor’s office as well as the NFL investigators expressly concluded and conveyed to our office (and others) that the accuser was lying about an alleged July 22, 2016 incident whereby she accused Mr. Elliott of pulling her out of her car and assaulting her. An allegation that was ultimately undermined by her own friend’s affidavit which stated that no such assault occurred. The affidavit also outlined the accuser’s plan to orchestrate a story to police to in order to corroborate her false allegation of assault. In addition, the NFL’s own medical experts concluded that many of her injuries predated the week in question and likely occurred during a period of time when Mr. Elliott was not in contact with the accuser. During the upcoming weeks and through the appeal a slew of additional credible and controverting evidence will come to light.”

It remains to be seen whether this changes the league's mind or not.

Original story below.

The NFL has suspended Ezekiel Elliott six games following an investigation into domestic violence accusations made against him in July 2016 by an ex-girlfriend. The suspension was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension, according to Schefter, and he has three days to file his formal appeal. At that point, an appeal hearing will be held within 10 days.

The NFL released a statement shortly after Schefter reported on Elliott's suspension. The league revealed it uncovered evidence during its investigation that showed Elliott “engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.”

Elliott was accused of assaulting a then-20-year-old woman he was reportedly dating in Columbus, Ohio last July. The woman claimed Elliott hit her while she was seated in her car. She denied medical treatment at the scene of the alleged incident, but she told police she had pain in her wrist. She also reportedly had a red mark on her arm.

Elliott denied assaulting the woman, and he was not arrested. But the woman later filed a second police report and accused Elliott of hitting her on several occasions between July 16 and July 20, 2016. She also posted photos on Instagram that showed bruises on various parts of her body.

In September, the Columbus City Attorney’s Office announced that it would not pursue criminal charges against Elliott. They said they had received “conflicting and inconsistent information” about what took place between Elliott and the woman.

But the NFL launched a separate investigation into the incident and referred to their investigation as “active and ongoing” in late 2016. According to ESPN, the league examined text messages exchanged between Elliott and the woman and gathered medical and legal insight from experts before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rendered his final decision.

As recently as this past weekend, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that he did not believe Elliott would be suspended by the NFL. But it seems the league disagreed with his take on the situation.

If Elliott’s suspension is upheld, he will be one of three Cowboys players who will be suspended at the beginning of the 2017-18 NFL season. Defensive end Randy Gregory (full season) and defensive end David Irving (four games) will also miss time due to suspensions.

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NFL Fans Are Freaking Out Over Rumors About Marshawn Lynch Potentially Making a Comeback

During an interview with 60 Minutes last June, Marshawn Lynch swore up and down that he was not going to return to the NFL at any point in time after announcing his retirement during the Super Bowl in February 2016.

“I’m retired,” he said. “Is that good enough? Which camera do you want me to look into? I’m done. I’m not playing football anymore.”

That seemed pretty definitive to us. But it sounds like Lynch might be second-guessing his decision to call it quits.

During his radio show on 95.7 The Game on Thursday, Raiders broadcaster Greg Papa hinted that the Raiders might be looking to make a big splash this offseason by signing a “certain running back” to a contract. He wouldn’t say who it was. But he did say that the running back he was talking about “did not even play in the NFL last year,” which naturally led many people to assume he was talking about Lynch, who is an Oakland native.

And then, on Friday morning, ESPN reporters Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson added to the speculation by sending out this tweet about how the Raiders are reportedly thinking about trying to work out a trade for Lynch with the Seahawks, the team that still owns the rights to his football services.

“It could really happen,” a source told Schefter and Anderson.

NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport also added this:

So is Beast Mode coming back? At this point, it’s obviously too early to tell. But there are plenty of NFL fans out there, including many in the Bay Area, who are freaking out over the possibility of Lynch making his return to the football field.

Lynch looks like he's been enjoying retirement, but we'll just have to wait and see how far these rumors take us.

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