White Sox’s Tony La Russa Calls Giants’ Gabe Kapler Anthem Protest ‘Inappropriate’

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa said on Saturday he disagrees with San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s decision to protest the national anthem after a shooting at a Texas school that left 21 people dead.

“I think he’s right to be concerned… about what’s happening in our country,” La Russa said Saturday night, ESPN reported. ‘He is over there. What I disagree with is the flag and the anthem are not appropriate places to try and voice your objections.”

The day before, Kapler said he will skip playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the pregame ceremony “moving forward.” He also clarified his decision in an opinion piece saying he is “not okay with the state of this country”.

The White Sox executive said protesting the national anthem is an insult to the men and women who served and died in the US military defending it.

“Part of their courage comes from what the flag means to them and when they hear the national anthem,” La Russa said before the White Sox finally fell to the Cubs 5 to 1. “You have to understand what the veterans are thinking when they see the national anthem or see the flag. And the costs they paid and their families. And when you really understand that, I think it’s impossible not to salute the flag and go to the national anthem to listen.”

Gabe Kapler said he would skip playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the pregame ceremony “going forward”.
Getty Images

In an op-ed, Kapler said he had been taught the national anthem and that the American flag should be revered, but that he does not believe it is representative of the current state of America.

“When I was the same age as the kids in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand up for the pledge of allegiance if I believed my country represents its people well, or to protest and sit down if it didn’t” Kapler wrote. “I don’t believe it represents us well at the moment.”

Tony La Russa said he disagrees with protesting the flag and anthem because it doesn't "appropriate places to try to voice your concerns."
Tony La Russa said he disagrees with protesting the flag and anthem because these are not “appropriate places to try and voice your objections”.
MLB Photos via Getty Images

Kapler’s decision received mixed reactions as others supported the protest.

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward called the protest “brave.”

“I think we’re all frustrated, especially in this country,” Woodward said, ESPN reported. ‘Nobody is happy. It’s not about which side you’re on. It’s just that as a society we need to get better. … Anyway, I’m not going to comment on whether or not I would do what he did.”

The protest came after an 18-year-old suspected gunman fatally shot 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday with weapons he bought days after his birthday.

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