The Giants were trending Monday night when manager Gabe Kapler, three coaches, and six players took a knee during the national anthem. That was enough to catch the attention of a president who spends a lot of time on Twitter, and Donald Trump took aim at the sport Tuesday morning
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
During his pre-game media session in the afternoon, Kapler was asked about President Trump's comments. He said his response is that he doesn't see kneeling as disrespectful.
"I see nothing more American than standing up for what you believe in," Kapler said. "I see nothing more patriotic than peaceful protest when things are frustrating and upsetting. Finally, there's nobody that should make us stop doing the right thing. It doesn't matter what leader says that they're not going to be following a game. What matters the most is that we're unwavering in trying to do what's right and that what guides our decision is standing up for people who need us to stand up for them."
Kapler and the Giants won't back down from anyone who disagrees with their choice. Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, one of the players who took a knee, posted on Instagram earlier in the day and explained his choice to those who equate kneeling with disrespecting the flag or troops.
Here’s what Mike Yastrzemski posted on Instagram about kneeling during the anthem last night. Ends with “we all deserve the freedom that our veterans and active members have sacrificed their lives for.” pic.twitter.com/ulSpirrWSk— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) July 21, 2020
It was unclear Tuesday afternoon if the Giants would again take a knee before their second exhibition with the A's, but it turns out the original decision was more widespread than everyone thought Monday. Pitching coach Ethan Katz, relievers Trevor Gott, Tyler Cyr and catcher Chadwick Tromp were all kneeling in the bullpen.