After starting a national dialogue by refusing to stand during the national anthem last year, Colin Kaepernick plans to stand for the anthem this year.
Kaepernick believes there has been positive change in America and doesn’t want to detract from that, so he’ll no longer kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2017, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
It’s hard not to be cynical and believe that Kaepernick is heading into free agency wanting to maximize his value and doesn’t want teams planning to bid on his services to view him as a distraction. Kneeling during the anthem wouldn’t preclude teams from signing him — plenty of other players refused to stand for the anthem last season and their teams were OK with it — but it could cause him to be viewed as a player who wouldn’t make a great face of a franchise.
By pledging to stand, Kaepernick can remove any doubts his stance caused. Now the question is whether any team thinks Kaepernick is a good enough passer to lead a team.