Giants manager Kapler refuses to take field for anthem following Texas school shooting

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Friday he would refuse to take the field for the national anthem in a protest against the country’s political direction after the school shooting this week in Texas.

“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem in the future until I feel better about leading our country,” Kapler said before the series opener in Cincinnati. “I don’t expect him to necessarily move the needle. It’s just something I feel strongly enough to take this step.”

Kapler said he needed more time to consider specific actions he could suggest taking to prevent more such tragedies, such as tougher gun control laws.

Kapler said that on the day of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, “I knew I wasn’t at my mental best and I knew it had to do with some of the hypocrisies of the school. national anthem and how it coincided with the moment of silence and how two things didn’t sync well for me, but I couldn’t figure that out in real time and it took me a few days to put all my thoughts.”

Only seven Giants were on the field — two coaches in front of the dugout, four players along the left field line and an athletic coach standing alongside them — when “The Star-Spangled Banner” played before Kapler and the manager of the Reds, David Bell, does not exchange formation. cards. The game started after a rain delay of 2 hours and 8 minutes.

Earlier today, Kapler used his personal blog to discuss the deaths of the 19 children and two teachers killed in Uvalde.

WATCH | Frustrations rise over gun control following Texas school shooting:

Frustration over inaction on gun violence following Texas school shooting

Americans are trying to come to terms with a deadly school shooting in Texas, with some expressing frustration at stalled efforts to change the country’s gun policy since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. Correction: A version previous part of this story has been removed and replaced because it contained a disturbing image.

In a post titled “The homeland of the brave?Kapler wrote, “We elect our politicians to represent our interests. Immediately after that shooting, we were told we needed locked doors and armed teachers. We were given thoughts and prayers. We were told it could have been worse, and we just need love.

“But we haven’t been given courage, and we’re not free. … We’re not free when politicians decide that lobbyists and the gun industries are more important than our children’s freedom of ‘go to school without the need for bulletproof backpacks and active shooting practice.’

Kapler went on to write, “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 walked out on the field, I listened to the announcement as we paid tribute to the victims in Uvalde. I bowed my head. I sang the national anthem. Metallica riffed on the City Connect guitars. My brain told me Said to get down on one knee; my body didn’t listen. I wanted to walk inside; instead, I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to draw attention. on me. I didn’t want to kidnap the victims or their families. …

“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 made it known by protest.”

Kapler has protested during the anthem in the past. In July 2020, before the start of the virus-shortened 60-game season, Kapler joined outfielder Jaylin Davis in taking a knee before an exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics. Davis was making a statement about the racial and social issues facing the country.

Fellow outfielders Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater also elected to kneel. So did first base coach Antoan Richardson, while shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between Davis and Richardson with a hand on each man’s shoulder.

Kapler’s latest comments came a day after the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays used their social media accounts during the game between the teams to spread information about how gun violence affects American life. .