Gabe Kapler, manager of the San Francisco Giants, on Monday, knelt along with several of his players during the national anthem played before the exhibition fixture against the Oakland Athletics. He expressed that he would continue to take voice his opinions against racial injustice.
With his action, Kapler becomes the first manager in Major League Baseball (MLB) to take a knee during the national anthem to express support for the Black Lives Matter campaign, which has acquired momentum after the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody in May this year.
Making His Intentions About Kneeling Down Clear.
Kapler kneeled down during the anthem on Monday along with outfielders Austin Slater, Jaylin Davis and Mike Yastrzemski, as well as first base coach Antoan Richardson. He said he informed the players of his plans before the game and offered his support whether they chose to kneel with him or remain standing.
"I spoke to the group and I gave them two messages. The first was that our coaching staff and organization would support any statement they wanted to make," Kapler said.
Displeased With Police Brutality
In his second message, Kapler conveyed that he was alarmed by the manner in which marginalized sections of the society were dealt with. "The second message was what my plans were. I wanted them to know I wasn't pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality. I told them I wanted to amplify their voices and ... the voice of the Black and marginalized communities," he said.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, sparking global protests about racial inequality and police brutality. Kapler, an outspoken backer of the Black Lives Matter movement, is entering his first season as the Giants' manager.
(With inputs from agencies)