Giants' Gabe Kapler Takes a Stand After Uvalde Mass Shooting: 'I Don't Plan on Coming Out for the Anthem'

·4 min read
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 08: Gabe Kapler #19 of the San Francisco Giants looks on during Game 1 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on Friday, October 8, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 08: Gabe Kapler #19 of the San Francisco Giants looks on during Game 1 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on Friday, October 8, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Lachlan Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty

Gabe Kapler is taking a stand.

The San Francisco Giants manager, 46, told reporters during his team's game against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday that he does not plan on participating in the United States' National Anthem on the field for the foreseeable future.

"I don't plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country," Kapler said, as seen in video footage shared by ESPN. "I don't expect it to move the needle necessarily, it's just something that I feel strongly enough about to take that step."

Kapler spoke further about his decision in a blog post that same day, where he cited the 19 children and two adults who were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, as his reason for the change.

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Questioning whether or not America is really "the land of the free and the home of the brave" in his post, Kapler noted, "We weren't given bravery, and we aren't free."

Singling out instances from the mass shooting where "police on the scene put a mother in handcuffs as she begged them to go in and save her children," and how authorities "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," Kapler criticized those in positions of power.

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"We aren't free when politicians decide that the lobbyist and gun industries are more important than our children's freedom to go to school without needing bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills," he wrote.

Transitioning back to the National Anthem, Kapler continued, "I'm often struck before our games by the lack of delivery of the promise of what our National Anthem represents. 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," he added, "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."

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"We have our moment (over and over), and then we move on without demanding real change from the people we empower to make these changes," Kapler said. "We stand, we bow our heads, and the people in power leave on recess, celebrating their own patriotism at every turn."

He added: "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."

RELATED VIDEO: Steve Kerr, Whose Dad Was Fatally Shot, Pleads for Tougher Gun Laws Following Texas School Shooting

Kapler's remarks came about days after another sports leader, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, got emotional and called on politicians to take action following the Uvalde shooting earlier in the week.

In a press conference before the Warriors played the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference finals, Kerr said he wouldn't be discussing basketball, stating, "Any basketball questions don't matter."

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"Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed 400 miles from here, and a teacher," Kerr said in a video shared on the Warrior's official Twitter page, his voice noticeably becoming shaky while he appeared to hold back tears.

The winning coach then referenced the Buffalo, N.Y., tragedy where 10 Black people were killed in a mass shooting at a local grocery store and a shooting at a Laguna Woods, Calif. church that left one person dead and four people critically injured — both of which had happened in the last 10 days, as Kerr noted.

Kerr is no stranger to gun violence, given his father, Malcolm Kerr, was the president of the American University of Beirut when he was fatally shot by two men outside his office in 1984, per Esquire and USA Today's For the Win.

The school district in Uvalde has opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. People can send checks through the mail (payable to the "Robb School Memorial Fund") or donate money through Zelle to robbschoolmemorialfund@gmail.com. People can also donate by calling 830-356-2273.