Hours before the Giants played the A’s in an exhibition game at the Coliseum on Monday, San Francisco outfielder Jaylin Davis received a phone call from manager Gabe Kapler. Davis wasn’t initially sure if he would follow in the footsteps of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling for
Hours before the Giants played the A’s in an exhibition game at the Coliseum on Monday, San Francisco outfielder Jaylin Davis received a phone call from manager Gabe Kapler. Davis wasn’t initially sure if he would follow in the footsteps of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling for the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and the oppression of people of color in America. The 26-year-old rookie has only 17 Major League games under his belt and has spent the last few weeks competing for a spot on the Giants’ Opening Day roster.
But ultimately, the desire to continue the fight against social injustice and racism overtook those apprehensions. He wasn’t alone. Several Giants joined Davis in taking a knee on Monday, including manager Gabe Kapler, first-base coach Antoan Richardson, hitting coach Justin Viele and outfielders Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater.
“It was kind of a difficult decision, me being a younger guy,” Davis said during a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday. “First-year guy, anyway. But I had a couple guys come to me. Hunter [Pence] and Yaz talked to me about it. They told me what they thought about it, and what they were going to do. They told me not to worry about being a first-year guy or anything. If I felt comfortable doing it, then I should do it. That kind of helped me, having Gabe and all of them do it, too, that kind of helped me be more comfortable about it.”
In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Davis, the grandson of military veterans, reiterated that he meant no disrespect to the flag or to those who have served the country.
“I am truly grateful for the sacrifices that each and every one of you have made for our country,” Davis wrote. “On the other hand I vowed to use my platform to speak up for what I believe in and I plan on doing that.”
Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.