San Francisco Giants manager joins players in kneeling during national anthem
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler joined players Monday in kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice before the team’s exhibition victory against the Oakland Athletics.
Kapler told the team earlier in the day that everyone would be supported by the Giants no matter their stance, and he knelt alongside players while others stood in place, according to ESPN.
“I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality, and I told them I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities, as well,” Kapler said.
Several San Francisco Giants, including manager Gabe Kapler, take a knee for Monday’s national anthem…#MLBTwitter #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/QkU9L7ZgZb
— SBR Sports Picks (@SBRSportsPicks) July 21, 2020
Among those who knelt were the Giants’ right fielder Jaylin Davis and first base coach Antoan Richardson, while shortstop Brand Crawford stood between them with his hands on each of their shoulders.
Kapler said the team had spent the last 72 hours discussing the anthem with players, coaches and staff, adding, “We connected with players individually and had meaningful conversations about this topic.”
Giants President Farhan Zaidi said in a statement following the game that the organization was proud of the players for “continuing to participate in the national conversation about racial injustice.”
“We support those who knelt to peacefully protest racial injustice and those who stood to express love of country,” the statement said.
President Trump tweeted his thoughts on kneeling after the game Monday, calling the move “a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag.”
Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2020
Kneeling during sporting events largely started when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 in protest against racial inequality and police misconduct against minority groups.
The act of kneeling has since grown to be a more widely accepted form of protest since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd, who died while a now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest, even after Floyd said he could not breathe.
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