In light of Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 kids and two teachers, Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he will not come out on the field of play and stand for the national anthem.
"I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country," Kapler told reporters Friday in Cincinnati before the Giants began a three-game series with the Reds at Great American Ballpark.
"That’ll be the step. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily, but it’s just something I feel strongly enough about to take that step."
Hours before he explained his stance to reporters, Kapler wrote a blog on his personal website Friday morning that further explained his thinking.
“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,” Kapler wrote, in reference to standing for the national anthem before Tuesday and Wednesday’s games. “We didn’t stop to reflect on whether we are actually free and brave after this horrific event, we just stood at attention.”
Kapler went on to write that he considered taking a stance on Tuesday or Wednesday by either dropping to a knee or walking back inside during the anthem, but couldn’t get himself to do it.
“My brain said drop to a knee; my body didn’t listen. I wanted to walk back inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to call attention to myself. I didn’t want to take away from the victims or their families,” Kapler wrote.
Kapler told reporters Friday that he needed some time to think through how he wanted to act and wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do so earlier in the week.
“Sometimes for me it takes me a couple of days to put everything together,” Kapler said. “I knew that I was not in my best space mentally and I knew that it was in connection with some of the hypocrisy of standing for the national anthem and how it coincided with the moment of silence, and how those two things didn't sync up well for me.
"But I couldn’t quite make sense of it in real time. And it took me a couple of days to pull all my thoughts together and to be able to articulate them clearly.”