It has been 12 hours since the story dropped that Colin Kaepernick did not stand during the National Anthem. The NFL has now issued a statement on the matter, keeping things pretty simple.
"Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem."
There had been some question as to how the NFL would respond to Kaepernick’s decision to sit in protest during the Anthem. Given the inconsistency in NFL punishment, I don’t think any response would have surprised me. They could have fined or suspended him, or they could have done nothing, and it would all have been par for the course. But it would appear there will be no punishment by the league.
The 49ers issued a statement to Pro Football Talk when the story first broke, and they too recognized his right to express himself:
The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.