Before the Giants face the Reds on Friday in Cincinnati, San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler told reporters he had no plans to come onto the field for the national anthem after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at a school in Uvalde. , Texas, just three days ago.
Kapler added that this will continue to be his plan until he feels “better about leading our country.”
Earlier Friday, Kapler took to his blog and wrote that he “felt like a coward” for standing up during the national anthem before his team’s game against the Mets on Wednesday in San Francisco, which was occurred a day after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Kapler wrote about his feelings for America, gun violence, and the Uvalde Massacre. In the message, he explained that his father told him to defend the oath of allegiance when he thought the country represented its people well and not to show up during times when it did not.
This isn’t the first time Kapler has made a statement with his actions. In 2020, Kapler and several Giants players took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
“We have not received bravery and we are not free,” Kapler wrote on his blog Friday. “Police at the scene handcuffed a mother as she begged them to come in and save her children. They blocked the parents trying to arrange to charge in to arrest the shooter, including a father who learned that his daughter was murdered while he was arguing with the cops We are not free when politicians decide that the lobbyist and gun industries are more important than our children’s freedom to go to school without the need for bulletproof backpacks and active shooting drills.
In his post, Kapler reflected on the set as Metallica performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” Wednesday at Oracle Park.
“Every time I place my hand over my heart and take my hat off, I participate in a self-congratulatory glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings are taking place. On Wednesday I stepped out into the field, I listened the announcement as we paid tribute to the victims in Uvalde. I bowed my head. I stood up for the national anthem. Metallica riffed on City Connect guitars,” Kapler wrote.
He said his inner voice was telling him not to perform the national anthem, but his body decided against it.
“My brain said drop to one knee; my body didn’t listen,” Kapler continued. “I wanted to walk inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I didn’t want to take anything 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 used this game to escape the horrors of the world for a bit. I knew that thousands of others would not understand the gesture and would take it as an offense to the military, to the veterans, to themselves.
“But I don’t agree with the state of this country. I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity. I wish I could demonstrate what I learned from my father, only when you are not satisfied with your country, you make it known by protest. The house of the brave should encourage this.
New York Post