Gabe Kapler Won't Be Taking the Field for National Anthem Before Games

Gabe Kapler, Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants
Gabe Kapler, Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler wrote a passionate blog post about the state of the United States in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas this week. In it, he claimed we are no longer free or brave if we allow these types of incidents to continue happening. He told reporters on Friday that he no longer plans on coming out for the national anthem before games until he feels "better about the direction of our country."

Here's what he said:

Kapler's blog post laments how our leaders and those in power -- including the police -- continue to do nothing while mass shootings continue to happen. How we indulge in the drug of patriotism but stand by and watch as the system does nothing to save lives. We send thoughts and prayers and hold moments of silence, then nothing is accomplished to prevent it from occurring all over again.

We're going to repost the entire relevant section from Kapler's blog post because we think it's important to understand the context of his decision. We encourage you to read the entire article on his website here.

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. On Wednesday, I walked out onto the field, I listened to the announcement as we honored the victims in Uvalde. I bowed my head. I stood for the national anthem. Metallica riffed on City Connect guitars.

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. There was a baseball game, a rock band, the lights, the pageantry. I knew that thousands of people were using this game to escape the horrors of the world for just a little bit. I knew that thousands more wouldn’t understand the gesture and would take it as an offense to the military, to veterans, to themselves.

But I am not okay with the state of this country. 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.

It will be interesting to see if Major League Baseball has anything to say about Kapler's protest.