Baseball Manager Refuses to Come Out for National Anthem in Protest

San Francisco Giants Manager Gabe Kapler announced that he would no longer come out for the national anthem until the direction of the country changes. The move is in protest of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Kapler’s protest is along the same lines as what former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick did when he kneeled during the national anthem before football games in furtherance of his personal social justice causes.

Both men are entitled to their opinions, but their manner of expressing them leaves a lot to be desired. Neither man was previously known to be an advocate for social change. They are sports figures. When Kaepernick was drafted, or Kapler was hired, it was for their abilities to perform on the field. When they step outside of that they instantly politicize their respective sport.

Sports have always been a place where people try to escape the calamities of the world and the divisiveness of politics. That is the beauty of the game. Sometimes, stands are taken outside of the game that affect the sporting world, such as when Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army and was stripped of his titles. In this instance, it was his personal actions outside the sport that made the statement. He did not use sport as a platform. People could choose to pay attention to his cause or not.

Kapler has drawn fire from legendary baseball manager Tony La Russa who said that the anthem is the wrong forum for such a protest. Baseball plays the national anthem every time two teams meet up and play because it is known as America’s pastime. Fans can go back in time to when things were simpler and the anthem is part of that.

This is not the first time there have been protests involving the flag and baseball. In 1976, a protester tried to burn an American flag on the field during a game at Dodger stadium. Cubs’ centerfielder Rick Monday snatched the flag away and saved the day. It was a simpler time when baseball players fought for America instead of degrading it.

Rick Monday saves American flag from protesters in 1976