- Thearon W. Henderson/Getty
A year after making season-long headlines for kneeling during the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick plans on standing for the anthem next season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Kaepernick, according to Schefter, believes his protest methods drew enough attention to the social injustice he was trying to highlight, and he no longer wants the protest to “detract from the positive change that he believes has been created.”
Kaepernick caused a stir last season when he was seen sitting on the bench during the national anthem during a preseason game with the San Francisco 49ers.
Kaepernick told reporters after the game that it was a protest he took up to draw attention to social inequality.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”
Later on, Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthems after meeting with former Green Beret Nate Boyer, who said kneeling would be a more respectful approach to the military. Kaepernick had insisted that his protest was not directed toward the military.
Kaepernick inspired players around the NFL to follow his protest. Some other players joined the cause by raising their fists or linking arms during the anthem.
During the season, Kaepernick also pledged $1 million to organizations that help underprivileged people. The 49ers matched his donations, according to Schefter.
Kaepernick plans on opting out of his contract with the 49ers to become a free agent, according to ESPN. After his stance reportedly threatened his future in the NFL, it will be interesting to see where he lands with the protest now behind him.