President Donald Trump once again expressed his displeasure Tuesday morning with players kneeling during the national anthem as a peaceful protest against racial and social injustices.
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
Giants players Austin Slater, Mike Yastrzemski and Jaylin Davis, along with manager Gabe Kapler and coaches Antoan Richardson and Justin Viele, all took a knee Monday night ahead of the Giants' 6-2 exhibition win over the A's in Oakland.
Los Angeles Angels reliever Kenyan Middleton also kneeled during the anthem before their game against the San Diego Padres at PetCo Park.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who has been publicly critical of Trump, simply responded to the President with a GIF of Willy Wonka.
Kapler addressed the Giants before the game and explained his decision, along with making it clear he wouldn't judge whatever each individual chose to do.
"I wanted to share what my plans were and I did that because I wanted them to know that I wasn't pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality. I told them that I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well," Kapler said. "I told them that I wanted to use my platform to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way we've handled racism in our country. I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with our clear systemic racism in our country.
"And I wanted them to know that they got to make their own decisions and we would respect and support those decisions. I wanted them to feel safe in speaking up, and so we had these kinds of discussions for the last several days and will continue to have them."
Slater also expressed after the game how he has recognized his own white privilege in America, telling The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly "When I reflected on my life and my experiences, I was unaware of the privilege and safety that came with the color of my skin."
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi showed his support for players and coaches deciding to kneel, and public address announcer Renel Brooks-Moon was moved to tears watching Kapler and several other Giants taking a knee.
Trump will have to get used to athletes continuing to peacefully protest during the anthem. With the return of baseball on the horizon, it's safe to assume a large group will follow the Giants' lead.