Before he took a knee during the national anthem, Giants manager Gabe Kapler met with his players and coaches. He wanted them to know that he would support any decision they made Monday night and in the ensuing games, that he would not hold it against them either way.
It's clear that Kapler had the same support from his bosses. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi released a statement after Monday's game saying the organization is "proud of our players and staff for continuing to participate in the national conversation about racial injustice." Zaidi hired Kapler in November.
Kapler was joined by coaches Antoan Richardson and Justin Viele and players Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater. Neither of the coaches have been on a big league staff before, and Davis and Slater have yet to become established big leaguers. Yastrzemski has not yet played a full season in the big leagues, though he may be the Giants' best player.
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It's clear that the young players felt they had their organization's support in protesting. Kapler harped on that message in the 72 hours leading up to the game.
"I wanted to share what my plans were and I did that because I wanted them to know that I wasn't pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality. I told them that I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the black community and marginalized communities as well," Kapler said Monday night.
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"I told them that 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."
It was unclear late Monday night if the kneeling would continue, but Kapler said the Giants have 60 games to continue to make decisions one way or another. They return to Oracle Park tonight for a second exhibition against the A's.