It is his absolute right to do it. It is also worth pointing out that Kaepernick was perfectly happy to stand for the anthem for a long time until his relations with his team began to collapse and more and more sports pundits started to speak up about him not really being all that great.
Over the past few months, his relationship with management has turned sour. He requested a trade last spring, which never came. He also has spent most of the offseason rehabilitating from operations to his left (non-throwing) shoulder, his hand and knee. His recovery left him unable to fully compete with Blaine Gabbert for months and has him seemingly in a bind to regain his starting job.
He made his preseason debut against the Packers and played in the second quarter, completing two of six passes for 14 yards. He looked as rusty as you’d expect from someone who has not played since last November.
This sounds like a revisiting of the Michael Sam situation. Sam, a mediocre talent, had to race out to declare himself gay so the NFL would take him seriously a bit longer. The NFL liked the story because it fit their liberalism for tolerance and diversity. They wanted Sam in the league even though he was a no-talent clown.
Sam couldn’t make it, wound up in Canada, then left there too. He was unable to make it in freaking Canada.
Kaepernick wants out of the 49ers, isn’t doing that great, and now he has the perfect cover story for his failure — nobody wanted him because he is “controversial.” That’s a hell of a lot better than “he sucks.”
The liberal media can praise his bravery for being a player in San Francisco doing what half of that city already does and he can avoid having to deal with the larger issues when he increasingly spends his time off the field instead of on it.
If the strategy does not work and the press focuses on his talent, perhaps he’ll go the full Sams.