Fellow managers offer Gabe Kapler support for protest

May 28, 2022, 3:42 AM | Updated: 6:03 pm
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler walks to the dugout after making a pitching change during ...

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler walks to the dugout after making a pitching change during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Francisco, Saturday, May 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Several of Gabe Kapler’s fellow managers are offering their support for his decision to avoid the field during the national anthem as a protest following the school shootings in southwestern Texas.

Kapler, manager of the San Francisco Giants, said Friday he doesn’t plan to be on the field for the anthem “until I feel better about the direction of our country. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily. It’s just something that I feel strongly enough about to take that step.”

One day after Kapler’s comments, no uniformed Giants were on the field for the anthem before the team’s 3-2 loss to the Reds.

Nineteen children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. The attack occurred just 10 days after a gunman espousing racist hatred killed 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Kapler’s action was “brave.”

“I think we’re all frustrated, especially in this country,” Woodward said. “Nobody’s happy. It’s not about which side you’re on. It’s just we’ve got to get better as a society. … I’m not going to really make comment either way on whether I would or wouldn’t do what he did.”

Boston Red Sox manger Alex Cora said Kapler, his former teammate, has been vocal about several subjects and “for that, I’m proud of him. He’s a good friend of mine and the kind of guy I respect from afar for what he’s doing, and if this is what he’s doing, good for him. I understand his reasons. He was very open about it and I know there’s a lot of people that are going to support him.”

New York Mets manager Buck Showalter also said he respected “how Gabe feels and the way he’s going about it.” Asked about Kapler, Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi responded: “That’s Gabe’s decision. That’s all, I’m going to leave it at that.”

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he agrees with Kapler that something needs to be done. He just doesn’t think the anthem is the proper time to protest.

“I have great respect for him personally,” La Russa said. “I like him. And I think he’s right. But it’s not the flag. And it’s not the anthem.”

Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez said he’s rarely on the field for the anthem because of meetings and other pregame prep.

“If I’m not out there it’s not because I’m boycotting anything,” Martinez said. “But I do believe that we need to figure something that’s better for everybody’s lives because what we have now is not working at all.

“Everybody has their own views and preferences. … Gabe’s his own person and Gabe does what he wants to do. I do things differently than Gabe.”

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo called Kapler “a humanitarian,” and that he was “very supportive of what Gabe is doing.” But Lovullo said he tries “not to get involved in that arena. It’s a very, very sad and touchy subject for me.”

Lovullo’s wife and his father’s family are from Buffalo.

“So I do have a lot of thoughts on it, and I will say that things have to stop, things have got to get better,” he said. “I just hope we’ll move in that direction quickly.”

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Kapler “is very passionate about things he believes in and that’s his way of protesting. … I don’t think any of us are happy with what’s going on in our country. I do respect people using whatever platforms they have to address that.”

Kapler has protested during the anthem in the past. In July 2020, before the start of the virus-shortened 60-game season, Kapler joined outfielder Jaylin Davis in taking a knee ahead of an exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics. Davis was making a statement about racial and social issues facing the country.

___

AP Baseball Writer Jake Seiner, AP Sports Writers David Brandt and Andrew Seligman, and AP freelance writers Ken Powtak, Michael Wagaman and Harvey Valentine contributed.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Kansas City Chiefs place kicker Harrison Butker (7) is lifted in the air after his game-winning fie...
Associated Press

Super Bowl 57: Chiefs, Eagles meet for title in Arizona

Patrick Mahomes finally got the best of Joe Burrow. All he needed was a little shove. Harrison Butker made a 45-yard field goal with 3 seconds left — after Cincinnati’s Joseph Ossai was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for shoving Mahomes after he was out of bounds — and the Chiefs beat the Bengals 23-20 […]
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie (21) tackles Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow...
Associated Press

Burrow comes up short of leading Bengals back to Super Bowl

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Joe Cool’s calm demeanor for the Cincinnati Bengals melted on a frigid night against the Kansas City Chiefs. The brilliant Bengals quarterback was sacked five times, threw two interceptions and was unable to drive his team downfield late in the fourth quarter of the AFC title game. That gave the […]
1 day ago
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo drives past New Orleans Pelicans' Jaxson Hayes during the fi...
Associated Press

Antetokounmpo scores 50 for Bucks; Pelicans lose 8th in row

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo says he wants to keep producing outstanding performances that he can show his kids one day when they’re old enough to appreciate them. The two-time MVP added one more to the list Sunday night. Antetokounmpo scored 50 points while playing only 30 minutes as the Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a […]
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signals teammates during the first half of the NFL A...
Associated Press

Chiefs top Bengals 23-20 on last-second kick for AFC title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes was forced to rely on his badly sprained right ankle rather than his strong right arm when the Kansas City Chiefs were desperately driving with a chance to win the AFC championship. The All-Pro quarterback, missing three wide receivers to injuries and battered himself, took off on a […]
1 day ago
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) shoots against Los Angeles Clippers center Moses Brown ...
Associated Press

Osman ties career high with 29 points, Cavs rout Clippers

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cedi Osman tied his career high with 29 points and matched the franchise record by making all seven of his 3-pointers as the Cleveland Cavaliers built a 40-point lead on their way to a 122-99 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. All-Star starter Donovan Mitchell had 11 points in […]
1 day ago
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against ...
Associated Press

Grizzlies use Morant’s triple-double, rally to beat Pacers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 27 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a lackluster first half to defeat the Indiana Pacers 112-100 on Sunday. Brandon Clarke had 13 points, hitting all five of his shots as Memphis snapped a five-game losing streak […]
1 day ago
Fellow managers offer Gabe Kapler support for protest