In a protest joined by manager Gabe Kapler, nearly the entire San Francisco Giants roster refused to go out onto the field for the national anthem in Cincinnati on Friday.
Four players, two coaches and one trainer were the only Giants representatives on the field before a game San Francisco would lose to the Reds 5-1, according to The New York Times.
Speaking to the media before the game, Kapler said America was not up to his standards.
“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country,” he said.
“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country” – Gabe Kapler pic.twitter.com/J1MdlVL3XI
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 27, 2022
“When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t. I don’t believe it is representing us well right now,” he wrote.
“We elect our politicians to represent our interests. Immediately following this 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 weren’t given bravery, and we aren’t free. The police on the scene put a mother in handcuffs as she begged them to go in and save her children. They blocked parents trying to organize to charge in to stop the shooter, including a father who learned his daughter was murdered while he argued with the cops,” he wrote.
Kapler then slammed political leaders for not embracing gun control.
“I’m often struck before our games by the lack of delivery of the promise of what our national anthem represents,” he wrote.
“We stand in honor of a country where we elect representatives to serve us, to thoughtfully consider and enact legislation that protects the interests of all the people in this country and to move this country forward towards the vision of the ‘shining city on the hill.’
“But instead, we thoughtlessly link our moment of silence and grief with the equally thoughtless display of celebration for a country that refuses to take up the concept of controlling the sale of weapons used nearly exclusively for the mass slaughter of human beings,” he wrote.
“Every time I place my hand over my heart and remove my hat, I’m participating in a self-congratulatory glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings take place.”
Kapler criticized a moment of silence held for the victims prior to a Wednesday game.
“Players, staff and fans stood for the moment of silence, grieving the lives lost, and then we (myself included) continued to stand, proudly proclaiming ourselves the land of the free and the home of the brave. We didn’t stop to reflect on whether we are actually free and brave after this horrific event, we just stood at attention.”
“I am not okay with the state of this country,” he wrote.
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