In Wake Of Uvalde Shooting, San Francisco Giants Manager Boycotting National Anthem Until He Feels Better About Direction Of America
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 10: Manager Gabe Kapler #19 of the San Francisco Giants looks on from the dugout against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the seventh inning at Oracle Park on May 10, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters prior to his team’s Friday night game against the Cincinnati Reds that he will not be taking the field for the national anthem and will not be doing so until he feels better about the direction of the country in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting that occurred earlier this week.

Journalist Andrew Baggerly tweeted, “Gabe Kapler told reporters in Cincinnati that he doesn’t plan on coming out for the national anthem and that will be his plan going forward ‘until I feel better about the direction of our country.’”

Kapler, who has been the Giants’ manager since 2019, also published an online essay explaining his decision Friday afternoon.

“When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t,” Kapler explained. “I don’t believe it is representing us well right now.”

On Tuesday, a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, at Robb Elementary School. Kapler noted that he wanted to protest the anthem on Wednesday evening, but didn’t.

“On Wednesday, I walked out onto the field, I listened to the announcement as we honored the victims in Uvalde. I bowed my head. I stood for the national anthem. Metallica riffed on City Connect guitars,” he explained.

“My brain said drop to a knee; my body didn’t listen,” Kapler continued. “I wanted to walk back inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to call attention to myself. I didn’t want to take away from the victims or their families. There was a baseball game, a rock band, the lights, the pageantry. I knew that thousands of people were using this game to escape the horrors of the world for just a little bit. I knew that thousands more wouldn’t understand the gesture and would take it as an offense to the military, to veterans, to themselves.”

Kapler also blasted elected leaders in his essay, writing that he is “often struck before our games by the lack of delivery of the promise of what our national anthem represents.”

The former Red Sox player opined that Americans “stand in honor of a country where we elect representatives to serve us, to thoughtfully consider and enact legislation that protects the interests of all the people in this country and to move this country forward towards the vision of the ‘shining city on the hill.’”

“But instead, we thoughtlessly link our moment of silence and grief with the equally thoughtless display of celebration for a country that refuses to take up the concept of controlling the sale of weapons used nearly exclusively for the mass slaughter of human beings,” Kapler continued. “We have our moment (over and over), and then we move on without demanding real change from the people we empower to make these changes. We stand, we bow our heads, and the people in power leave on recess, celebrating their own patriotism at every turn.”

“Every time I place my hand over my heart and remove my hat, I’m participating in a self congratulatory glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings take place,” he added.

Kapler also tweeted, “We’re not the land of the free nor the home of the brave right now.”

The Giants play the Reds Friday evening at 6:40 p.m. ET.

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