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Colin Kaepernick’s legal team says he was never involved in now cancelled NFL meeting

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The proposed Monday meeting between the NFL Players Coalition and the league that was supposed to include both Colin Kaepernick and commissioner Roger Goodell has been cancelled, SB Nation has confirmed.

When reached for comment, Kaepernick’s legal team said that they were originally unaware of the now cancelled meeting before seeing a press release from the NFL Players Coalition, a group of 11 players that has worked with the NFL on issues of protest, social justice, and criminal justice reform. The press release said that there would be a second meeting on Monday in Philadelphia. That meeting is now off.

“We didn’t even know there was a meeting,” a lawyer on Kaepernick’s legal team said. “The press release was the first time we heard of any invite.”

Mark Geragos, a lead lawyer for Kaepernick’s legal team, told Slate this week that “Colin had no role” in the meetings.

Malcolm Jenkins, a leader of the Coalition, said that Kaepernick was originally invited to an Oct. 17 meeting between players and owners. NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart also suggested that Kaepernick would attend this meeting, saying he expected Kaepernick to have an invitation.

“We look forward to him joining the conversation,” Lockhart said.

But according to emails Slate obtained and SB Nation has confirmed, by Oct. 25 there was no invitation.

Kaepernick’s legal team said the NFL told them that they weren’t responsible for invitations but would welcome Kaepernick’s attendance. The legal team said the NFL Players Association said the same regarding an invitation.

In two emails, Kaepernick’s legal team requested clarification regarding the quarterback’s role in the discussions.

On the afternoon of Oct. 25, one of Kaepernick’s attorneys, Ben Meiselas, wrote an email to NFLPA representatives and the league for clarity before signing off.

“Please let’s figure this out today or tomorrow so there are no questions about this over the weekend,” Meiselas wrote.

Kaepernick’s lead lawyer, Geragos, originally asked Jenkins to correct the public record regarding Kaepernick attending the meetings. On the night of Oct. 26, the legal team asked Jenkins again.

“It remains inconceivable that actual progress can or will be made at these player meetings if discussions regarding certain ideas and platforms which Mr. Kaepernick has led and created are discussed and negotiated without Mr. Kaepernick being present,” Meiselas wrote.

The legal team asked for Jenkins to provide a formal invitation if Kaepernick was actually being invited, an attendance list and dates and times and topics. Spokespeople for Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, who lead the 11-player Player’s Coalition, did not respond to requests for comment.

Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick’s protest last season, told the New York Times that he was not aware that there was even a meeting for Monday. Specifically, Reid railed against how information was getting out.

“I’m not sure why a press release was sent out saying there’s a meeting when there’s no confirmation the NFL would attend the meeting,” Reid said. “There needs to be better communication.”

Multiple parties with knowledge of the league and the Player’s Coalition have expressed an issue with communication and ideas between both groups. The understanding is all the players aren’t on the same page.

Kaepernick’s legal team has said from the beginning that they were willing to cooperate with the Coalition and their client was willing to attend these meetings. They said nearly two weeks ago that Kaepernick was open to being present.

After this week’s mishandling of the meeting and subsequent cancelling, it’s unclear if Kaepernick or his legal representation that filed a grievance with the NFL will be as open to showing up again.