Warriors Coach Steve Kerr Says He Supports Giants Manager Gabe Kapler Protesting During National Anthem

by Bryan Fyalkowski

During his most recent press conference ahead of the NBA Finals, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr showed support for Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s peaceful protest of not participating in pregame national anthems.

“I always support any form of peaceful protest, that’s what our country is founded on,” Kerr said. “It’s great that he’s making his own statement, I think everybody has to do it their own way. … I support everybody’s right to demand better from our country.”

Before Friday’s MLB game against the Cincinnati Reds, Kapler spoke to reporters in the dugout and 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. Yet he feels “strongly enough” about the current state of the country after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, to “take that step.”

In his blog post, Kapler also shared that his father influenced his decision. When he was in elementary school, 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.

Kapler Stands During National Anthem on Memorial Day

Kapler made another blog post before San Francisco took on the Phillies in Philadelphia on Memorial Day. He said on Monday he would be standing for the national anthem to honor those in the military who have paid the ultimate price. Part of it read:

“While I believe strongly in the right to protest and the importance of doing so, I also believe strongly in honoring and mourning our country’s service men and women who fought and died for that right. Those who serve in our military, and especially those who have paid the ultimate price for our rights and freedoms, deserve that acknowledgment and respect, and I am honored to stand on the line today to show mine.”

He also shared that he would be donating to two organizations: Everytown – which is dedicated to ending gun violence – and Heart & Armor – which is devoted to veteran health initiatives.

“Everyone has a choice in this country, right? I mean that’s what America is founded on,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said on the matter. “But with all the choices we make in life there are consequences, no matter what you do, so you have to be prepared to explain why you do things in this world. It’s not the choice that I’ll make, it’s not something that I would do.”

Girardi replaced Kapler as Philadelphia’s manager prior to the 2020 season and is facing questions about job security after posting a 131-140 (.438) record at the helm so far. Kapler was hired by the Giants that same offseason and boasts a 162-107 (.602) mark in San Francisco.