Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest won’t carry over into next season, USA TODAY Sports confirmed Thursday.
Kaepernick, who is expected to opt out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, either sat or kneeled while The Star-Spangled Banner was played before Niners games last season, a protest meant to draw attention to racial inequality and police brutality. He will discontinue his public protest in 2017, wherever he plays next season, a person with knowledge of Kaepernick's plans told USA TODAY Sports' Tom Pelissero.
The person requested anonymity because Kaepernick has not yet made his decision public.
Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the anthem was adopted by several other NFL players and athletes in other professional sports leagues. It led some to boycott the NFL, which potentially contributed to the league’s 8% decline in ratings last year.
Kaepernick said last September that he had received death threats in the days after he began his protest in the preseason.
ESPN was the first to report that Kaepernick would end his national anthem boycott.