Just as America was beginning to prepare for the Memorial Day holiday, one MLB manager decided to use the National Anthem as a springboard to controversy, and it has many sports fans outraged.
The latest high profile sports figure to recognize the offensive potential of an anthem protest is Gabe Kapler, manager of the San Francisco Giants.
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler will no longer stand with his team for the national anthem until he “feels better about the direction of our country” in the wake of the Texas school shooting on Tuesday that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
Kapler spoke with reporters ahead of Friday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds to explain his choice not to participate in the national anthem, a decision he first revealed in a lengthy blog post earlier in the day.
His reasoning was about as vague as it comes.
“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country,” he told reporters. “That’ll be the step. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily. It’s just something I feel strongly enough about to take that step.”
Kapler provided slightly more insight elsewhere.
Kapler authored a detailed letter posted to his lifestyle website in which he expressed remorse for standing for the anthem during Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets considering the tragic events of the previous day.
“I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity,” Kapler said. “I wish that I could have demonstrated what I learned from my dad, that when you’re dissatisfied with your country, you let it be known through protest. The home of the brave should encourage this.
In the post, “Home of the brave?,” Kapler said his father told him “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.”
Anthem protests were recently popularized by NFL second stringer Colin Kaepernick during his final season in professional football, with the athlete claiming that his inability to secure a job within the league was a direct result of his activism.