Since former NFL player Colin Kaepernick kneeled during a preseason game in August 2016, professional athletes all over the world followed suit. Colin was constantly criticized for his actions and deemed unpatriotic. However, he stood firm in his decision to choose not to stand for the anthem saying, “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
Major League Baseball has started back up with some preseason games, and recently, many players on the San Francisco Giants along with coaches and their manager kneeled during the “Star-Spangled Banner” and were met with much praise but also much criticism from people, including President Trump who claimed he will now boycott the MLB.
The players kneeled in honor of the BLM movement, prompting a call for a MLB boycott.
In a peaceful protest against police brutality and to support the Black Lives Matter movement, the San Francisco Giants team took to their knees while the national anthem played before the game.
Manager Gabe Kapler and members of the coaching staff joined players Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater, and Jaylin Davis, and coaches Antoan Richardson and Justin Viele in taking a knee, according to NBC Bay Area. Shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between Antoan Richardson and Jaylin Davis and placed his hands on their shoulders as a sign of support.
Giants manager, Gabe Kapler, informed his team that he would be kneeling before 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," Gabe Kapler said, according to NBC Sports.
He was also asked if he and other Giants players would continue kneeling, He said, "We're going to have 60 chances during the regular season to make the same decision that we made today, to either stand or kneel or do something different."
Despite criticism, the MLB supported the team’s decision to kneel during the anthem.
The MLB Twitter account shared a video of the kneeling moment and was met with many critics. Despite the negative responses, the MLB defended those who knelt against critics. "Supporting human rights is not political," MLB responded to one fan.
It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.— MLB (@MLB) July 21, 2020
Another person complained that kneeling during the anthem disrespected the military and the flag, and the league said, "It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest."
President Trump also criticized the team’s decision.
The morning after many members of the staff and team of the San Francisco Giants kneeled during the national anthem, the president touched on the subject of kneeling during the anthem — a subject he has spoken out against many times in the past.
Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2020
He tweeted, “Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!”
ARREST THE TRAITORS WHO KNEEL!— KW Miller For Congress (FL-18) (@KwCongressional) July 21, 2020
The president was met with mixed responses, and whole many criticized his notions, there were other others who blindly agreed with the POTUS.
One user wrote, "If you kneel for the national anthem, we boycott your entire season... You’ve been warned!"