Kenny Stills, Eric Reid say NFL made ‘circus’ out of Colin Kaepernick’s workout

BALTIMORE — Kenny Stills was a bit wary of the NFL's planned workout for free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, telling reporters in Houston this week that he feared the league was trying to create "some type of media circus."

On Sunday, after the Houston Texans' 41-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Stills said it looks like his concerns were validated.

"It's all hearsay, but if it's true about what was put in the waiver, trying to keep Colin from taking further legal action on the league and things like that, then it was exactly what we thought," Stills told USA TODAY Sports, "which is just a media circus and the league trying to cover their tail, as usual."

The NFL informed teams Tuesday that it would hold a private workout for Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a means of protesting police brutality and racial inequality. The workout was initially scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the Atlanta Falcons' practice facility, but Kaepernick's camp abruptly moved it to a high school approximately 60 miles away. 

Kaepernick's agents said the NFL asked the 32-year-old to sign "an unusual liability waiver" and refused their requests to open the event to the media, prompting the change. The NFL said it sent Kaepernick a "standard liability waiver" and it was "disappointed" that he did not participate in the workout. 

"He's got to do whatever he has to do to protect himself, and I think that's what he's done," Stills said of Kaepernick. "He's asking for transparency, and I think that's what he deserves. … I think he did what he had to do to get the workout off, and it looked like he had a good workout. He's prepared and ready to go, like he said. So I look forward to a team signing him."

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Stills has long been an ally of Kaepernick's and is one of the few remaining players who continues to kneel during the national anthem.

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, another such player, also voiced support for Kaepernick after his own game Sunday, praising his former San Francisco 49ers teammate for taking the workout into his own hands.

"The NFL wanted to control the narrative by not letting independent media into the workout to document the workout," Reid told reporters. "They wouldn't even tell him who was going to run his routes for him. They wouldn't even give him a script for the workout. Is Colin supposed to trust the organization that's blackballing him? He's not that naive." 

Stills echoed that sentiment. 

"It's hard for there to be trust," he said, "when the trust has been broken before."

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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