San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler now says he will not come onto the field for the pregame national anthem ceremony until he feels “better about the direction of our country.”
At issue, the horrific mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that claimed 21 lives, including 19 children.
As Friday’s game at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati was about to commence, Kapler told reporters he will not go out for the anthem “going forward.” In an accompanying blog post, the 2021 National League Manager of the Year laid out his reasons.
Entitled “Home of the Brave?”, the manager says his father taught him as a child to stay seated when the country wasn’t “representing its people well.”
Kapler noted every time he stands for the anthem, places a hand over heart and removes his hat, it’s more than it seems. He describes the act as “self-congratulatory glorification” of the “ONLY country where mass shootings take place.
He also points to the actions, or inactions, of law enforcement on the scene as evidence against the anthem’s declaration of “home of the brave.” Kapler was also a kneeler during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest summer.
The Giants manager admits to feeling like a “coward” for standing for the anthem Wednesday, the day following the massacre at Robb Elementary School. He also is aware that the move could be “misunderstood” by military personnel and veterans.
It is worth noting that only seven Giants were on the field for the playing of the anthem — four players, two coaches, and a trainer. There had been an over two-hour rain delay, so that could be a factor.
Several sports franchises since the Texas tragedy have used their social media platforms to post messages about gun violence. This, of course, is something their fans either will or will not react to, and that’s fine.
Kapler’s announcement parrots the spectacle of NFL players kneeling for the anthem that led to a sharp decline in the league’s popularity. Pro football is just now gaining back some of the fan base as the memory of disrespectful acts fades, and now baseball takes center stage.
Leftist media types tried to pin the NFL’s loss of fans on everything from streaming competition to concussions. No one outside of their bubble bought this explanation, and for good reason. San Francisco is one thing, but baseball should beware the spread of this “protest” into other markets.