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Major League Baseball’s Twitter Account Aggressively Defends Kneeling Players
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Major League Baseball’s social media accounts aggressively defended several San Francisco Giants players, coaches, and managers Monday night after angry baseball viewers voiced concerns over Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater, and others taking a knee during the national anthem.

The Giants players, as well as two coaches and manager Gabe Kapler, knelt during patriotic pre-game festivities to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Kapler, who has been a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter on Twitter, told the team ahead of time of his plan to kneel and, reports, several players decided to follow suit.

“Several Giants, including manager Gabe Kapler, first-base coach Antoan Richardson, hitting coach Justin Viele and outfielders Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski, and Austin Slater, took a knee during the national anthem before Monday’s exhibition game in Oakland,” baseball’s official news outlet reported Monday. “Shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between Davis and Richardson and put his hand on their shoulders in a show of support.”

“I did that because I wanted them to know I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality,” Kapler told media. “I told them I wanted to amplify their voices, and I wanted to amplify the voices of the Black community and marginalized communities as well.”

The Giants issued a statement supporting the team, and when viewers, who tuned in to watch the Giants play an exhibition game on Monday evening, objected to the protest, Major League Baseball’s official social media accounts stepped in to aggressively defend the group.

After one fan complained, tweeting that “the national anthem is sang for our military not our law enforcement firstly. You kneel you’re disrespecting your military. Yes black lives matter, kneeling for the national is showing complete lack of respect for out men and women fighting for your freedom,” MLB fired back, “It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.”

When other fans noticed and began to weigh in on their own, MLB went to the mat.

“pllllleeeeaaaseeee stop posting things like this. yes black lives do indeed matter. but it’s a polarizing topic. keep politics out of baseball!” one fan fired back at the organization.

“Supporting human rights is not political,” MLB snapped back.

“Quit bringing all this political bs into sports! You are there to play a game not to be a politician, play the game,” yet another tweeted at MLB’s account.

“Supporting our players and supporting equality is not political,” MLB responded.

The MLB did not tweet back at President Donald Trump who tweeted that “the game is over for me.”

Major League Baseball is allowing kneeling protests as a way of expressing solidarity with the national anti-racism protests that took place following the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police. Kapler, though, is not the first person affiliated with the MLB to take a knee. Oakland A’s catcher, Bruce Maxwell, knelt in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick back in 2017, per NBC Sports.

At that time, MLB issued a statement distancing itself from Maxwell’s statement but expressing support for his freedom of speech. Maxwell received “minimal support” for his actions, per the New York Post, and no other player in the league knelt that season.

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