San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Friday he will refuse to take the field for the pregame national anthem “going forward,” following the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“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 before the Giants played the Cincinnati Reds.
Kapler elaborated in a blog post published Friday on his website. In the post — titled “Home of the Brave?” — he appeared to blast the police response to the massacre as well as the U.S. gun lobby and the political status quo.
“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,” Kapler wrote.
“But we weren’t given bravery, and we aren’t free,” he added. “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.
“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,” Kapler wrote.
In the post, Kapler admitted that he “felt like a coward” for standing for the national anthem before his team’s game against the New York Mets on Wednesday, a day after an 18-year-old killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.
“But I am not okay with the state of this country,” he wrote. “I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity. 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.”