The San Francisco Giants just took their stance on the racial injustices going on in the country. Before the team's exhibition game against the Oakland A's on Monday, several players and manager Gabe Kapler took a knee during that national anthem. It's the first time an MLB player has kneeled during the national anthem since 2017, and Kapler is the first MLB manager and the first head coach in any of the four major North American sports leagues to protest racial injustice in that manner, according to USA Today.
"We're proud of our players and staff for continuing to participate in the national conversation about racial injustice, said Farhan Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations. "We support those who knelt to peacefully protest racial injustice and those who stood to express love of country. We do not see these as mutually exclusive sentiments and believe the freedom to express both is what our country is about. As an organization, we reaffirm our announcement of acts of discrimination and violence against members of the black community and our pledge to work together with those who seek to end racial injustice in America."
After the game, Kapler spoke to the media about protesting. He spoke to his players and staff members about kneeling during the national anthem as he's been outspoken about the issues going on in the country. "I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality," Kapler said. As for kneeling in the future, Kapler wouldn't reveal if it would happen again but will support any player who continues to protest.
"If they kneel for the anthem, we would support that. If they stood for the anthem, we would support that, too," Kapler added. "And we wouldn't pass judgment on them for making any statement or standing up for what they believe in, or expressing themselves." Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater, were the players who kneeled during the national anthem along with Kapler and first base coach Antoan Richardson.
"I've been taking time to educate myself over the past month about social injustice towards people of color in this country," Slater said in a statement. "Simply put, things need to change."