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Gabe Kapler Says He Will Pause National Anthem Protest for Memorial Day

Editor’s note: This story contains details of a mass casualty event and gun violence.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he will stand when the national anthem is played on Memorial Day when his team takes on the Phillies, temporarily pausing his protest that began following last week’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

"Today, I'll be standing for the anthem," Kapler said Monday on his blog. “While I believe strongly in the right to protest and the importance of doing so, I also believe strongly in honoring and mourning our country’s service men and women who fought and died for that right. Those who serve in our military, and especially those who have paid the ultimate price for our rights and freedoms, deserve that acknowledgment and respect, and I am honored to stand on the line today to show mine.”

Kapler has not been on the field during the anthem since Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School which left 19 children and two teachers dead. However, he said Sunday that he was considering suspending his protest in light of Monday being Memorial Day.

“I’m very comfortable taking it day by day,” Kapler said Sunday of his protest, per AP. “I think I’ll just decide what makes the most sense in the moment.”

“Memorial Day is an important day in our country’s history and a special day and a unique day,” he said. “I find it to be one that deserves special attention.”

Kapler also revealed on his blog that he plans to make two donations on Memorial Day. The first will be to Everytown, an organization dedicated to ending gun violence, and the second will be to Heart & Armor, an organization devoted to veteran health and linking the experience of veterans to civilians. 

“I believe we have the right to speak up about the things we’re most passionate about,” he wrote. “I believe we also have the responsibility to find organizations that are doing good work and support those organizations when we speak up about issues. Voicing concerns thoughtfully and protesting peacefully are both patriotic actions; so is supporting organizations that are in the weeds solving problems.”