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Rangers Ex Gabe Kapler: 'Not OK With State of This Country,' Says Protesting Giants Manager

The San Francisco Giants manager told reporters he won't be on the field for the National Anthem after reflecting on the Uvalde shooting

Former Texas Rangers player Gabe Kapler told reporters that he is "not okay with the state of this country" and won’t be coming out for the National Anthem "until I feel better about the direction of our country."

Kapler, now the manager of the San Francisco Giants, relayed those comments during a pre-game news conference before the Giants’ game on Friday night.

Kapler also wrote on Twitter that ‘We’re not the land of the free nor the home of the brave right now.’

Rangers - Martin Perez
May 15, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez #54 throws a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Field.

There is also video of Kapler’s comments.

“I don’t think I’ll be coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country,” Kapler said. “That’ll be the step. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily. It’s just something that I feel strongly enough about to take that step. The rest of what I wrote, I think, explains it.”

In the video, Kapler referred to a piece that he wrote on his blog, which was published on Friday. The piece further described the discomfort he felt that he talked about in the interview.

“I was having a hard time articulating my thoughts the day of the shooting, the day we went out there on the (base)line,” Kapler said. “Sometimes for me, it takes me a couple of days to put everything together. I knew that I was not in my best space mentally and I knew that it was in connection with some of the hypocrisy of standing for the National Anthem and how it coincided with the moment of silence and how those two things didn’t sync up well for me. But I wasn’t quite sure … I couldn’t make sense of it in real time. And, it took me a couple of days to pull all my thoughts together and to be able to articulate them clearly.”

It was the latest in an outpouring from the sports world after the mass school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left 21 dead, including 19 children, and injured 17 more.

Texas Rangers pitcher Martín Pérez wrote the words ‘4 Uvalde’ on his cap on Thursday night and dedicated his performance to the victims.

On Thursday the social media accounts for both the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays went dark from game updates of their matchup. Instead, both accounts coordinated with one another to socialize information on gun violence.

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The Rays also announced they would donate $50,000 for Everytown for Gun Safety.

The Dallas Cowboys have been vocal about the tragedy, QB Dak Prescott going so far as to question whether he wants to father children.

Before Game 5 of Thursday’s game of the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors — taking place on the other side of the bay in San Francisco — there was a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting. The Warriors also urged spectators to vote and to consider ways to affect change when it comes to gun violence.

And, Warriors coach Steve Kerr — who lost his father to gunmen in Beirut, Lebanon, during his teenage years — delivered one of the most impassioned speeches for change before Game 4 on Tuesday night.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward also addressed the shooting on Wednesday in an interview with Sirius/XM Radio while the Rangers were in Anaheim to face the Angels.

May 7, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward (8) looks on before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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“We have to do better,” Woodward said. We have to do better for our kids, for the children of this country. … Anger, hate is rampant in our country. And we need to do better. And I think that starts with leadership, but it also falls on all of us as Americans.”

The Rangers play the second game of their four-game series with the Athletics on Friday night.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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