Colin Kaepernick has the right to say whatever he wants.
He does not have the right to say whatever he wants on the team's time, wearing their uniform, as a member of the NFL. The league is a tightly-managed brand that has had ridiculous rules about every little detail of a player's appearance, for decades. They have clauses in player contracts about conduct off the field that is detrimental to the team or the league. They control everything about players, and if you don't believe me, go ask some of them. This is all common knowledge among NFL fans.
So they can damn well control his conduct in uniform, on the field, during the national anthem, in front of 60,000 fans and millions of TV viewers (although 15% fewer this year, and what a coincidence that is). You might think the NFL -- in deference to their advertisers who buy expensive ad time on those TV broadcasts, if nothing else -- would judge Kaepernick's conduct (and similar conduct of other players) as damaging to the league's reputation, and the team's goodwill in the community. They do not, obviously.
If the league was run intelligently, this should not have been a hard call: "We believe in a player's right to speak out on issues that are important to them, on their own time, when not wearing a uniform." Done.
Players like Kaepernick get to have their say, clueless as they are, and the NFL and teams like the 49ers save their reputations. It's an obvious home run. But not for Goodell and his army of SJW lawyers that run the NFL.
What this tells me is that they agree with him, or are afraid to disagree, which amounts to the same thing. The NFL is more than happy to do the bidding of BLM, including all the anti-cop violence and death threats that go with it. Why else did they refuse the Dallas Cowboys' request to wear stars on their uniforms to honor the five cops killed in Dallas? They refuse that request, and piss off more goodwill with the cops across the entire nation, and then they turn around and tolerate Kaepernick's obvious politicizing on the opposite side of that issue?
I already knew Roger Goodell was a really bad NFL commissioner, but I had no idea how bad. Or maybe he's just another anti-American lefty tool. Either way, this is not what I'm looking for when I want to watch a sporting event.
Players need to stand up for the national anthem. This is non-negotiable. Any league with competent leadership, that is *not* anti-American, would understand that instinctively, and react decisively and promptly.