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SF Giants manager Gabe Kapler says he’ll BOYCOTT the National Anthem in wake of Texas shooting

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler has said he will stay in the team’s clubhouse during the Star-Spangled Banner due to his displeasure ‘with the direction of the country.’

Kapler – the reigning National League Manager of the Year – announced the national anthem boycott while speaking to the press on Friday, and also on his blog, KapLifestyle

‘When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t. I don’t believe it is representing us well right now,’ Kapler wrote. 

The Giants manager says the idea first came to him on Tuesday night when James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett from Metallica performed the anthem before their game against the New York Mets. 

‘On Wednesday, I walked out onto the field, I listened to the announcement as we honored the victims in Uvalde. I bowed my head. I stood for the national anthem. Metallica riffed on City Connect guitars,’ he wrote.

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler has said he will stay in the team's clubhouse during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner due to his displeasure 'with the direction of the country'

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler has said he will stay in the team’s clubhouse during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner due to his displeasure ‘with the direction of the country’

Kapler described how he felt when the anthem began to play on Tuesday night in San Francisco.  

‘My brain said drop to a knee; my body didn’t listen,’ he continued. ‘I wanted to walk back inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to call attention to myself. I didn’t want to take away from the victims or their families. There was a baseball game, a rock band, the lights, the pageantry. 

‘I knew that thousands of people were using this game to escape the horrors of the world for just a little bit. I knew that thousands more wouldn’t understand the gesture and would take it as an offense to the military, to veterans, to themselves.’

Kapler finished by saying that he believes America’s promise of freedom of speech should allow for him to remain absent during the anthem.

‘I am not okay with the state of this country,’ he said. ‘I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity. I wish that I could have demonstrated what I learned from my dad, that when you’re dissatisfied with your country, you let it be known through protest. The home of the brave should encourage this.’

Pressed by the media prior to Friday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, Kapler explained himself further.

‘I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country,’ Kapler said, wearing a t-shirt that read ‘Strength Isn’t Always Physical.’ ‘I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily, it’s just something I feel strongly about to take that step.’ 

Kapler mentioned freezing and not knowing what to do when he heard the anthem played prior to Tuesday's game against the New York Mets by James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica

Kapler mentioned freezing and not knowing what to do when he heard the anthem played prior to Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets by James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica

21 people were killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, including 19 children

21 people were killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, including 19 children

The Giants’ skipper is no stranger to protest, having knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner during the 2020 season in protest of police brutality.

His actions drew the ire of former President Donald Trump at least once. Kapler said at the time that he wanted to make his players ‘feel safe speaking up.’ 

‘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!’ Trump tweeted the day after Kapler knelt.

Beginning in September of 2017, when Trump first seized upon the issue at a rally in Alabama, the President has repeatedly voiced his objection to athletes kneeling in protest. Over that time he has mentioned the word ‘anthem’ in no fewer than 30 tweets.

Trump’s tweet came after Kapler’s decision to kneel during the anthem before a July 2020 exhibition against the Oakland Athletics. 

The Giants' skipper is no stranger to protest, having knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner during the 2020 season in protest of police brutality and appearing to draw the ire of former President Donald Trump at least once

The Giants’ skipper is no stranger to protest, having knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner during the 2020 season in protest of police brutality and appearing to draw the ire of former President Donald Trump at least once

Kapler said at the time that he wanted to make his players 'feel safe speaking up'

Kapler said at the time that he wanted to make his players ‘feel safe speaking up’

Beginning in September of 2017, when Donald Trump first seized upon the issue, the President has objected to players protesting during the anthem in no fewer than 30 tweets

Beginning in September of 2017, when Donald Trump first seized upon the issue, the President has objected to players protesting during the anthem in no fewer than 30 tweets

Kapler, who won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and was previously an MLB analyst for Fox Sports, shares a city with Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, himself outspoken on political issues. 

Kerr lost his temper as he demanded background checks for guns in the wake of Tuesday’s massacre at a Texas school that killed 19 children.  

The Golden State warriors coach – whose father was shot dead by terrorists in 1984 – spoke at a press conference ahead of his side’s fourth game against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference Final. He was so angry he banged his fist on a table for all to see.

‘We’re not going to talk about basketball,’ Kerr said at the beginning of his team’s press conference. ‘Nothing’s happened with our team in the last six hours. We’re going to start the same way tonight. Any basketball questions don’t matter.’

‘Since we left shoot around 14 children were killed 400 miles from here, and a teacher, and in the last ten days, we’ve had elderly black people killed in a supermarket in buffalo,’ the basketball coach added. 

‘We had Asian churchgoers killed in southern California. Now we have children murdered at school. When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m so tired of the — I’m sorry. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.’

Kerr has personal experience of losing a loved one to gun violence. His father, Professor Malcolm Kerr, was shot and killed in a targeted attack while working at the American University of Beirut in 1984.

Professor Kerr – who worked to try and foster harmony between Christians, Muslims and Jews, was murdered by jihadis, although no motive has ever been disclosed.  

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, 56, slammed Congress for not taking enough action on passing stricter background checks on gun registration and purchases at a press conference ahead of his team's Game 4 encounter against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference Finals

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, 56, slammed Congress for not taking enough action on passing stricter background checks on gun registration and purchases at a press conference ahead of his team’s Game 4 encounter against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference Finals

Steve Kerr's father, Malcolm Kerr, was shot to death by terrorists in Lebanon while he was the President of the American University of Beirut in 1984

Steve Kerr’s father, Malcolm Kerr, was shot to death by terrorists in Lebanon while he was the President of the American University of Beirut in 1984

Kapler’s comments are the latest criticizing various federal laws and institutions as the fallout continues from the horrific shooting.  

Texas Governor Greg Abbott claims he was lied to about Tuesday’s school massacre after it emerged cops didn’t enter a classroom where the bloodbath was unfolding for 90 minutes. 

‘I was misled,’ Abbott said on Friday, addressing a press conference in Uvalde about Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School which saw 19 students and two teachers murdered by Salvador Ramos, 18, who was eventually shot dead by cops. 

‘I am livid about what happened. I was on this very stage two days ago, and I was telling the public information that had been told to me in a room just a few yards from where we are write now. 

‘I wrote hand notes in sequential order. 

‘When I came out on that stage and told the public what happened, it was a recitation of what everyone told me.

‘As everybody has learned, the information I was given turned out – in part – to be inaccurate. 

‘I am absolutely livid about that.’ 

Abbott said that law enforcement leaders must ‘get to the bottom of every fact, with absolute certainty.’

He said it was ‘inexcusable’ that families may have suffered from inaccurate information, and ordered law enforcement to ‘get down to every second what happened, and explain it to the public – but most importantly, to the victims.’ 

Greg Abbott is seen on Friday in Uvalde, Texas, explaining why he got so much information wrong on Wednesday

Greg Abbott is seen on Friday in Uvalde, Texas, explaining why he got so much information wrong on Wednesday

US Customs and Border Protection agents (left) are seen alongside local police (center) and sheriff's deputies (right) working to rescue kids from Robb Elementary on Tuesday. Questions are being asked as to why they did not enter the school

US Customs and Border Protection agents (left) are seen alongside local police (center) and sheriff’s deputies (right) working to rescue kids from Robb Elementary on Tuesday. Questions are being asked as to why they did not enter the school

New photos have emerged depicting part of the law enforcement response to the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, as questions mount about why police didn't engage the shooter more quickly

New photos have emerged depicting part of the law enforcement response to the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, as questions mount about why police didn’t engage the shooter more quickly

Abbott on Wednesday had defended the actions of the police and other local officials, emphasizing their heroics and insisting they prevented the situation from being far worse.

Yet questions have been rapidly mounting about the actions of law enforcement – in particular, why they waited outside the school for an hour while Salvador Ramos, 18, was free inside the building to murder 19 children and two teachers.

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