Giants’ Kapler refuses to show up for anthem in protest

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler walks to the dugout after making a pitching change in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Francisco on Saturday, May 21, 2022. ( AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler walks to the dugout after making a pitching change in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Francisco on Saturday, May 21, 2022. ( AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

PA

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Friday he would refuse to take the field for the national anthem in a protest against the country’s political direction after the school shooting this week in Texas.

“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem in the future until I feel better about leading our country,” Kapler said before the series opener in Cincinnati. “I don’t expect him to necessarily move the needle. It’s just something I feel strong enough to take this step.

Kapler said he needed more time to consider specific actions he could suggest taking to prevent more such tragedies, such as tougher gun control laws.

Kapler said that on the day of filming at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, “I knew I wasn’t at my mental best and I knew it had to do with some of the hypocrisies of the movie. national anthem and how it coincided with the moment of silence and how two things didn’t sync well for me, but I couldn’t understand that in real time and it took me a few days to collect all my thoughts.

Only seven Giants were on the field — two coaches in front of the dugout, four players along the left-field line, and an athletic coach standing beside them — when “The Star-Spangled Banner” played before Kapler and the Reds manager David Bell swapped the formation. The game started after a rain delay of 2 hours and 8 minutes.

Earlier today, Kapler used his personal blog to discuss the deaths of the 19 children and two teachers killed in Uvalde.

In an article titled “Home of the Brave,” Kapler wrote, “We elect our politicians to represent our interests. Immediately after that shooting, we were told we needed locked doors and armed teachers. We were given thoughts and prayers. We were told it could have been worse, and we just need love.

“But we were not given bravery and we are not free. … We are not free when politicians decide that the lobbying and gun industries are more important than the freedom of our children to go to school without the need for bulletproof backpacks and ‘active fire exercises.’

Kapler went on to write, “Every time I place my hand over my heart and take off my hat, I participate in a self-congratulatory glorification of the only country where these mass shootings are taking place. On Wednesday I walked out into the field, listened to the announcement as we paid tribute to the victims in Uvalde. I lowered my head. I defended the national anthem. Metallica riffed on City Connect guitars. My brain said drop to one knee; my body didn’t listen. I wanted to walk inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I didn’t want to take anything away from the victims or their families. …

“But I don’t agree with the state of this country. I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity. I wish I could demonstrate what I learned from my father, only when you are not satisfied with your country, you made it known by protest.”

Kapler has protested during the anthem in the past. In July 2020, before the start of the virus-shortened 60-game season, Kapler joined outfielder Jaylin Davis in taking a knee before an exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics. Davis was making a statement about the racial and social issues facing the country.

Fellow outfielders Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater also elected to kneel. So did first base coach Antoan Richardson, while shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between Davis and Richardson with a hand on each man’s shoulder.

Kapler’s latest comments came a day after the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays used their social media accounts during the game between the teams to spread information about how gun violence affects American life. .

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