Former San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick created quite the controversy last year by refusing to stand for the National Anthem before football games. Now that he's a free agent in need of a gig, he'll be standing for the 2017 season according to ESPN:
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will stand during the national anthem next season, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
Kaepernick no longer wants his method of protest to detract from the positive change he believes has been created, sources told ESPN. He also said the amount of national discussion on social inequality -- as well as support from other athletes nationwide, including NFL and NBA players -- affirmed the message he was trying to deliver.
And from Yahoo Sports on further context:
Colin Kaepernick hired new agents, which was reported this week. The agents told teams Kaepernick would be opting out of his San Francisco 49ers contract to become a free agent, news that broke Wednesday. On Thursday, ESPN reported that Kaepernick would stand for the national anthem in 2017.
Kaepernick will have a tough enough time finding the right fit in free agency, given his inconsistency on the field over the past few years. Kaepernick’s national-anthem protest of last season likely wouldn’t have been a positive for most NFL owners. So Kaepernick – who, again, has new agents – let everyone know that he won’t be kneeling during the anthem anymore, through Adam Schefter at ESPN.
No one can point to a single reason why ratings for prime-time NFL games have fallen this season. TV networks blame weak match-ups, non-competitive games, the rise of online streaming and the presidential election.No word yet on whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will impose a league wide rule requiring players to stand for the National Anthem or pay a hefty fine.