The National Anthem being played before sports games is a tradition that goes back a long way. It became a point of controversy in the past when former San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem.
He claimed this was done to protest police brutality against black people. Now, there’s a new celebrity sports figure who says he won’t be standing for the anthem at Major League Baseball (MLB) games.
Specifically, this is San Francisco Giants Coach Gabe Kapler, who said he’ll be staying in the dugout while the anthem is played.
Why is Kapler Doing This?
Kapler says he would not participate in the opening of the game as usual because of the massacre of 21 victims killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Kapler said he’s sick with everything that’s been going on in the state and country, recently.
Specifically, he wants gun control and something done about the state of the country.
Every single American shares Kapler’s disgust; although the majority of us also realize taking away guns won’t do a single thing to stop psychopaths like the Uvalde shooter.
Another thing that won’t do a single thing to push back against gun violence is disrespecting our anthem by sitting in the dugout like a sulking bum while it’s played.
Far braver and better men than Gabe Kapler died so the anthem could be played, and he needs to grow up. La Russa agrees.
you mean someone in the sports world had the balls to stand up and say what American Patriots think about the Flag and the Anthem – thank you Tony LaRussahttps://t.co/ZfbyRkWecn
— Super Ultra America First (@REDCO131) May 29, 2022
La Russa Pushes Back
For La Russa, there are appropriate places and times for protest.
He doesn’t agree with Kapler’s decision to sit out the anthem. La Russa said he respects Kapler as a person and professional. He agrees with the concern and feeling about everything that is happening in the country.
He even shares some of his views on gun control. However, La Russa made it clear what he disagrees with is the form of protest.
The flag and the anthem are important icons in the games and in the military, La Russa recalled. He said for a soldier, the importance of a flag and anthem are key to encouraging them when they go to the front line of combat.
Not waving the flag and standing for the anthem is an insult to our military.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa wants it to be very clear: He likes and respects Gabe Kapler and agrees with his stance on gun violence but disagrees with his mode of protesting. (Kapler says he’ll remain in the clubhouse for the national anthem.)
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) May 28, 2022
Kapler Needs to Grow Up
As La Russa said, the anthem is very important. He added that Kapler should understand the importance of this.
Before the game, Kapler posted that he would protest even though he knew it wouldn’t change anything that happened last Tuesday in Texas. Though he also said he couldn’t stifle his feelings. Some supported Kapler’s protest decision.
Texas Rangers coach Chris Woodward thought it was an act of courage. For Woodward, everyone is feeling frustrated and acts like Kapler’s are brave and merited.