Giants’ Gabe Kapler Reverses Protest Stance, Attends National Anthem on Memorial Day
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler attended the playing of the national anthem on Memorial Day after saying earlier this week that he would not come out for the anthem until he felt better about the “direction of the country.”
On May 27, in the immediate aftermath of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Kapler posted a long essay on his personal blog saying that he would no longer come out for the national anthem.
“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 explained.
“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
While many MLB managers congratulated Kapler for his stance, White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he agreed with the concerns voiced by his style in San Francisco, he disagreed with him using the anthem as a time to voice his “objections.” La Russa specifically mentioned the service and sacrifice of veterans in explaining why the anthem should be a time free of political statements or controversy.
“Some of their courage comes from what the flag method to them and when they hear the anthem. You need to understand what the veterans think when they hear the anthem or see the flag. And the cost they paid and their families,” La Russa explained.
“And if you truly understand that, I think it’s impossible not to salute the flag and listen to the anthem.”
White Sox manager Tony La Russa (Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Well, it’s unknown if La Russa’s comments led to Kapler’s change of heart, but in a Memorial Day post on his blog, the Giants skipper announced that he would indeed stand for the anthem on Memorial Day.
Today, I’ll be standing for the anthem,” Kapler wrote. “While I believe strongly in the right to protest and the importance of doing so, I also believe strongly in honoring and mourning our country’s service men and women who fought and died for that right. Those who serve in our military, and especially those who have paid the ultimate price for our rights and freedoms, deserve that acknowledgment and respect, and I am honored to stand on the line today to show mine.”
While one can certainly applaud Kapler for doing the right thing and honoring the country and those who died in its defense on Memorial Day, his acknowledgment of La Russa’s sentiment, if not his actual words, gives lie to the concept so many on the left have stated about anthem protests not having anything to do with disrespecting those who have fought and died for the right to protest.
Kneeling or sitting for the anthem is a slap in the confront to veterans and our heroic dead. Otherwise, Kapler would have stayed in the clubhouse as he promised to do. Of course, protesting the anthem is an insult to our war dead on any given day, not just Memorial Day.
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