Giants players, Kapler kneel during anthem

July 20th, 2020

Several Giants, including manager Gabe Kapler, first-base coach Antoan Richardson, hitting coach Justin Viele and outfielders Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater, took a knee during the national anthem before Monday’s exhibition game in Oakland. Shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between Davis and Richardson and put his hand on their shoulders in a show of support.  

Kapler, who has voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement on social media in the months following George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, said he spoke to the team beforehand and shared his plans to kneel.

Kapler, whose parents were active participants in the civil rights movement, stressed that he supported each player’s decision on whether to kneel or stand during the anthem, but he wanted to use his platform to show solidarity with the fight against social injustice and systemic racism in America.

"I did that because I wanted them to know I wasn't pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality,” Kapler said. “I told them I wanted to amplify their voices, and I wanted to amplify the voices of the Black community and marginalized communities as well.

“I told them 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. 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 kind of discussions for the last several days. We will continue to have them and make them part of the fabric of our clubhouse."

Davis opened up about his experiences with racism in a recent blog post called "The Stories That Are Hardest to Tell."

“The constant anxiety, isolation and degradation of racism are like molecules of carbon monoxide in the air,” Davis wrote. “They’re invisible to the naked eye but as poisonous as the brutality caught on camera and posted on Instagram.”