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.
As a means of protest, he began sitting during the national anthem in the 2016 preseason before taking a knee for the final preseason contest and 16 regular-season games.
Kaepernick will opt out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Friday and become a free agent next week, sources told ESPN.
There were other steps Kaepernick took that did not receive the same amount of attention as his anthem stance.