Malcom Jenkins previously said Kaepernick was invited to the meeting but did not attend.
Contrasting Malcom Jenkins' assertion that Colin Kaepernick was invited to the NFL's quarterly meeting between owners, players and the commissioner, Kaepernick's lawyer said the former 49ers quarterback was not invited but is open to further discussion with the league.
Quarterly meetings are a feature of every NFL season, but this meeting has garnered added attention given the hotly contested debate over protests during the national anthem that has loomed largely over the league this season. Kaepernick has emerged as the face of this debate—viewed as a courageous activist on one side and an unpatriotic agitator on another—as he was the first NFL player to demonstrated during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
While Kaepernick did not attend the meeting, a number of notable NFL players did. Chris Long, Malcolm Jenkins and Eric Reid, all of whom have protested during the national anthem or, in Long's case, supported his teammates who did, were all in attendance.
While the league did not enter the meeting with a new rule proposal that would mandate that players stand during the anthem nor ask them to stand during the meeting, Goodell did issue a memo that said the league believes player should stand.
Kaepernick's absence in the meeting was reportedly brought up by players who believed his central role in the controversy merited his presence. reports CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. 49ers CEO Jed York told La Canfora that he believes every owner now has a greater understanding for why players have kneeled during the anthem.
"We can confirm that this morning we filed a grievance under the CBA on behalf of Colin Kaepernick. This was done only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.
"If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest -- which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago -- should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation. Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.
"Colin Kaepernick's goal has always been, and remains, to be simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field."
Debate over the national anthem has surrounded the NFL since last year, but it was brought back to the forefront of discourse by President Donald Trump, who called in September for NFL owners to "fire" players who protest during the anthem.
"Get that son of a b---- off the field right now," the President said at a campaign rally for former Alabama senator Luther Strange. His comments were quickly criticized by Goodell and a number of owners, and players responded with widespread demonstrations during the national anthem in Week 3.