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Giants coach won’t take the field for US anthem after mass shooting

San Francisco Giants coach Gabe Kapler kneels during the national anthem before the game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler will not take the field for the national anthem of the United States after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which 21 people died, most of them children, and which has provoked a new debate about gun control and the role of the American police.

Speaking to reporters before a game against the Cincinnati Reds, Kapler said that I’d just start listening to the anthem if he felt “better about running our country.”

I don’t plan to go out for the anthem in the future until I feel better about the direction of our country. That will be the step. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily, it’s something I feel strong enough to take that step.”

Kapler has protested during the national anthem in the past, kneeling with four of his players in a 2020 preseason game after the murder of george floyd.

Earlier in the day, Kapler made a post of 729 words titled “The home of the brave?” on his personal blog Kaplifestyle reacting to the shooting and discussing his own feelings about patriotically defending the anthem immediately after a moment of silence for the murder of 19 children and two teachers.

Capler harshly criticized the “police officers who had guns and who receive almost 40% of the city’s funds” for failing to stop the shooter from killing children for an hour while her parents pleaded for the police to intervene. Also criticized politicians who suggested that “closed doors and armed teachers” they could solve the problem.

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Above all, Kapler expressed his frustration at the expectation of celebrating a country that has seen few significant changes after so many mass shootings:

“I am often surprised before our games the lack of fulfillment of the promise of what our national anthem represents. We stand in honor of a country where we elect representatives to serve us, to carefully consider and enact legislation that protect the interests of all people in this country and to move this country forward,” he said.

“But instead, we thoughtlessly link our moment of silence and pain with the equally thoughtless display of celebration for a country that refuses to embrace the concept of controlling the sale of weapons used almost exclusively for the mass killing of human beings. We have our time (over and over), and then we move on without demanding real change of the people we empower to make these changes.

San Francisco Giants head coach Gabe Kapler watches from the sidelines before the start of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on May 10, 2022 in San Francisco.  (Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)San Francisco Giants head coach Gabe Kapler watches from the sidelines before the start of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on May 10, 2022 in San Francisco.  (Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

San Francisco Giants head coach Gabe Kapler watches from the sidelines before the start of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on May 10, 2022 in San Francisco. (Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

“Every time I put my hand on my heart and I take my hat offI am participating in a self-indulgent glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings occur. On Wednesday I went out on the field, I heard the announcement while we paid tribute to the victims in Uvalde. I bowed my head. I stood up for the national anthem.”

“My brain said to kneel; my body didn’t listen. He wanted to go back inside; instead, I froze. I felt like a coward”.

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Kapler told reporters that he was “having difficulty articulating my thoughts the day of the shooting” and needed a couple of days to absorb it, so he initially championed the anthem.

Kapler, 46, who played 12 seasons in the majorsis in his third season as manager of the Giants, having previously managed the Philadelphia Phillies.

He’s not the first Bay Area sports figure to speak out, as Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr criticized Republican lawmakers for blocking a background check bill shortly after the shooting.

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