Soon-to-be NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick will stand again during the national anthem next season, sources tell ESPN.
Adam Schefter reports the 49ers quarterback believes his silent protest has been successful in opening a discussion on racial and social inequality. He does not want his demonstration to take away from the positive change he believe it has led to in the country, sources tell the network.
Kaepernick, who is expected to soon opt out of his contract with San Francisco, ignited a nationwide debate when he began sitting during the national anthem during the 2016 preseason. He modified his protest for the last preseason game and regular season by taking a knee during pre-game performances of the Star Spangled Banner.
A chorus of boos rained down on Kaepernick in Week Six as he took the field at New Era Stadium before kickoff of the Bills-49ers game on October 19th . Fans later chanted "USA! USA!" while Kaepernick knelt during the anthem.
"...I had some Bills fans before the game come up and say they are supporting me, so I think it all depends on who the person is," Kaepernick said after the 49ers lost to the Bills 45-16. "At the end of the day, I'm going to continue to fight for what I'm fighting for."
A small group of fans also took part in a "kneel in" in support of Kaepernick outside the stadium that day.