As the nation awaits the sports world to resemble some sense of normalcy following the coronavirus outbreak, Major League Baseball has already returned and is making waves.
The practice of players kneeling at games was often seen at NFL games years ago, but, now it has happened on a baseball field. According to ESPN, as the rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner was being played, San Francisco Giants’ manager and several players kneeled in solidarity with the fight against racial injustice at the Oakland Coliseum on Monday night. It is believed that Giants’ manager Gabe Kapler is the first manager to kneel along with his players.
“I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality, and I told them I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well,” Kapler said. “So I told them that I wanted to use my platform to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way we’ve handled racism in our country. I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with our clear systemic racism in our country, and I wanted them to know that they got to make their own decisions, and we would respect and support those decisions. I wanted them to feel safe in speaking up.”
— MLB (@MLB) July 21, 2020
Giants president Farhan Zaidi said in a written statement that the entire organization is “proud of our players and staff for continuing to participate in the national conversation about racial injustice.”
“We support those who knelt to peacefully protest racial injustice and those who stood to express love of country,” the statement continued. “We do not see these as mutually exclusive sentiments and believe the freedom to express both is what our country is about.”
Kapler also stated, “We’ve had a lot of conversations about the anthem over the course of the last 72 hours, and when I say we, I mean our coaching staff and our players. We connected with small groups of players. We connected with players individually and had meaningful conversations about this topic.”
President Donald Trump wasn’t thrilled.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2020