San Francisco Giants Manager Plans to Sit Out National Anthem after Uvalde Tragedy

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters on Friday that he no longer plans to stand with the team for the national anthem after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 students and two teachers on Tuesday. He said that he will sit out the anthem until he “feels better about the direction of our country.”

Kapler said that his refusal to take the field for the anthem is a “step” that he feels strongly about but does not necessarily “expect to move the needle.”

In a lengthy post to his lifestyle website earlier in the day he expressed his regret for standing for the national anthem before Wednesday’s game between the Giants and the New York Mets. He wrote that he wished he had not let his “discomfort compromise his integrity.”

He went on to say that he was disappointed that he did not apply a lesson he said he learned from his father, that being to protest when dissatisfied with the country. In his post titled “Home of the brave?,” he said his father had taught him only to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance when he believed the “country was representing its people well.”

Kapler went on to write that he doesn’t think the country is “representing us well right now.” He criticized lawmakers who responded to the shooting by saying the country needs “locked doors and armed teachers.”

He said that he is “often struck” when standing for the anthem about the “lack of delivery of the promise” by the country. He said that it amounts to nothing more than a “thoughtless display of celebration” for a country that refuses to ban the sale of “weapons used nearly exclusively for the mass slaughter of human beings.”

He went on to lament that when people stand and bow their heads, the people in power celebrate “their own patriotism at every turn.”

Kapler protested the national anthem previously in 2020 when he kneeled with a group of players to protest the police following the death of George Floyd. He said that he wanted to “amplify the voice” of marginalized communities by showing he was not pleased with “police brutality.”