Six years ago, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided not to stand for the national anthem to draw attention to police brutality against Black and Brown citizens. Now San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler is making a similar gesture, sparked by despair at the nation’s collective failure to protect children at school from being massacred by a weapon of war legally purchased by an 18-year-old became.
Instead of kneeling or sitting while the song plays, Kapler will stay off the field. He said he would continue his peaceful protest indefinitely.
“Until I feel better about the direction of our country,” Kapler said of the Bay Area News Group’s Evan Webeck. “I don’t necessarily expect it to move the needle. It’s just something I feel strong enough to take that step for.”
Kapler said he wished he had done more Tuesday when the Giants played the Mets after the killing of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. The game was preceded by a minute’s silence for the victims, followed by the playing of the Metallica anthem.
“I knew I wasn’t in my best shape mentally, and I knew it had to do with the hypocrisy of standing for the national anthem and how it coincided with the moment of silence and how those two things weren’t in sync, which is good for.” me,” Kapler said.
Kapler explained the situation on Friday in his personal blog.
“Every time I put my hand to my heart and take off my hat, I participate in a smug glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings are taking place,” Kapler wrote. “My brain said get on one knee; My body wasn’t listening. I wanted to go back inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I didn’t want to take anything away from the victims and their families. There was a baseball game, a rock band, the lights, the pageantry. I knew that thousands of people used this game to escape the horrors of the world just for a short time. I knew that thousands would not understand the gesture and would take it as an insult to the military, the veterans and themselves.
“But I don’t agree with the state of this country. I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity. I wish I could have demonstrated what I learned from my father, that if you are unhappy with your country, you can protest it. The Home of the Brave should encourage that.”
In fact it should. America isn’t great just because we’re all expected to believe and say it—and shun anyone who dares to disagree or join the flock in a collective display of obligatory patriotism. America must earn its greatness. According to Kapler, this is currently not the case.
His gesture comes at a time when Kaepernick is finally, after five years of being ignored by owners who simply lack the moral and financial courage to do the right thing (ie, NFL owners are cowards) has been training with the Raiders. If others stand up to do the right thing and stand up to those who huff and puff, Kaepernick will get more opportunities after not getting any for more than half a decade.
Like Kapler, Kaepernick took part in a peaceful protest. Kaepernick acted within applicable NFL rules. He didn’t do anything wrong.
With so much chaos and carnage arising from an unreasonable obsession and utterly unrealistic interpretation of the Second Amendment, it would be nice if those who live in the greatest nation on earth committed themselves fully to the plain language of the First Amendment. And it would be great if some of the richest and most powerful people in the country set the right example for the rest of us.