San Francisco Giants Manager Gabe Kapler to Protest During National Anthem Following Texas School Shooting

by Chris Haney
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Following the Texas school shooting earlier this week, San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler told MLB reporters that he plans to stay in the locker room for future pregame national anthem performances.

The decision is a form of protest in response to ongoing issues within our nation, according to Kapler. He says he won’t stand for the national anthem with his team until he “feels better about the direction of our country.”

Before Friday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, Gabe Kapler explained why he’s sitting out during the national anthem. Earlier that day, he also shared a lengthy blog post explaining his decision over the matter. Kapler admitted he doesn’t expect his protest to make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Yet he feels “strongly enough” about the current state of America to “take that step.”

“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country,” Gabe Kapler told reporters. “That’ll be the step. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily. It’s just something that I feel strongly enough about to take that step. The rest of what I wrote I think explains the rest of that.”

“I couldn’t make sense of it in real time,” the Giants manager said about his national anthem decision. “It took me a couple of days to pull all my thoughts together and to be able to articulate them clearly. Sometimes that happens for me. That’s why I don’t necessarily always talk on the spot. I want some time to think it through.”

Giants Manager Details National Anthem Decision in Open Letter

Previous to Friday’s game, Giants manager Gabe Kapler shared an open letter detailing his national anthem decision following the Texas school shooting. The 46-year-old posted the statement to his lifestyle blog, Kaplifestyle.com. He titled his letter “Home of the Brave?” where he shared remorse for standing during the anthem before Wednesday’s game considering the events that transpired one day prior.

“I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity,” Kapler wrote. “I wish that I could have demonstrated what I learned from my dad, that when you’re dissatisfied with your country, you let it be known through protest. The home of the brave should encourage this.”

In his statement, Kapler also shared that his father influenced his decision. When he was in elementary school like the kids in Uvalde, Texas, Kapler’s dad taught him to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. However, there was a caveat to that. He told his son to only stand for it “when I believed my country was representing its people well.” In contrast, his dad told him “to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t.”

“I don’t believe it is representing us well right now,” he added

Later in the blog post, the Giants manager got into more detail about his national anthem decision. Kapler criticized the Texas “police officers who had weapons and who receive nearly 40% of the city’s funding.” Additionally, he took aim at lawmakers who think “we needed locked doors and armed teachers” instead of gun reform.

“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,” Kapler said.

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