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Colin Kaepernick will stand during National Anthem in 2017

The conversation is moving forward, which is something Colin Kaepernick wanted to do with his protest.

Soon to be free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick made serious waves in 2016 when he took a knee all season during the National Anthem. His protest sparked a national conversation, and it appears he is happy with the direction of things. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Kaepernick will choose to stand during the National Anthem next season.

According to Schefter’s sources, Kaepernick, “no longer wants the past method of protest to detract from the positive change that he believes has been created.” He, “believes the amount of national discussion on social inequality -- as well as support from other NFL and NBA players, women's soccer and college and high school athletes nationwide -- affirmed the message he was trying to deliver.”

Some will say it is fitting timing since he is hitting free agency. We have heard through both anonymous and on the record comments that some owners are particularly displeased with his protest and don’t want it on their team. However, I feel like executives and owners that already thought that are unlikely to change their mind because Kaepernick is choosing to return to standing.

Instead, I think we have seen change in the discussion. We have seen extensive player support on both a professional and amateur level. We have seen more and more athletes getting involved in discussions within their community to improve things for disadvantaged populations. I think we have a long way to go as a country, but I strongly believe Colin Kaepernick’s protest was important in moving the conversation forward in many ways.