PHILADELPHIA – San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler stood just outside the third base dugout at Citizens Bank Park for the national anthem on Monday, taking a break on Memorial Day from his protest against the direction of the nation.
Kapler, who began his protest Friday, stood by himself at the railing of the Giants dugout during the playing of taps during the holiday ceremony, which was followed by a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by a military bugle company. A few other San Francisco players stood on the chalk line past the third-base bag during their stretching exercises.
“Today, I’ll be standing for the anthem,” Kapler wrote earlier Monday on his blog. “While I believe strongly in the right to protest and the importance of doing so, I also believe strongly in honoring and mourning our country’s service men and women who fought and died for that right. Those who serve in our military, and especially those who have paid the ultimate price for our rights and freedoms, deserve that acknowledgment and respect, and I am honored to stand on the line today to show mine.”
Kapler announced on Friday that he intended to remain in the clubhouse during the anthem to protest “the lack of delivery of the promise of what our national anthem represents” following the shootings that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“The way I see it is anything that sparks thoughtful conversation is good,” Kapler told reporters on Monday.
Kapler said he was not ready to announce whether his protest will resume on Tuesday night.
“The days move really fast,” he said. “We’re going to come out and talk about Giants and Phillies today and we’ll get into the game and then we’ll spend some time trying to get away from the game. Then the game starts the next day. I want to have my thoughts perfectly formulated. I will formulate them and I will share them. I just don’t have them right now.”
Joe Girardi replaced Kapler as Philadelphia's manager following the 2019 season
“Everyone has a choice in this country, right?” Girardi said. “I mean that’s what America is founded on. It’s not the choice that I’ll make. But with all the choices we make in life there are consequences, no matter what you do, so you have to be prepared to explain why you do things in this world. And it’s not something that I would do.”
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