Editor’s note: This story contains details of a mass casualty event and gun violence.
In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas earlier this week, San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler announced that he will no longer be coming out to the field for the national anthem prior to his team’s games.
Kapler said that this will be his protocol until “[he] feels better about the direction of the country,” he told reporters in Cincinnati on Friday.
Kapler has been outspoken regarding the state of the country’s gun violence, including penning an essay on his personal website Kaplerstyle.com.
“When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t. I don’t believe it is representing us well right now,” Kapler wrote.
“We elect our politicians to represent our interests. Immediately following this shooting, we were told we needed locked doors and armed teachers. We were given thoughts and prayers. We were told it could have been worse, we just need love.
“But we weren’t given bravery, and we aren’t free. The police on the scene put a mother in handcuffs as she begged them to go in and save her children. They blocked parents trying to organize to charge in to stop the shooter, including a father who learned his daughter was murdered while he argued with the cops. We aren’t free when politicians decide that the lobbyist and gun industries are more important than our children’s freedom to go to the school without needing bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills,” he continued.
The incident happened on Tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults at the elementary school in Uvalde. Ever since the incident, many prominent sports figures have commented, including Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Lakers star LeBron James and the Yankees and Rays Twitter accounts.