MLB fires back at fan complaints about Giants kneeling during anthem
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler and several players kneeled during the national anthem ahead of Monday’s exhibition game against the Oakland A’s. To no surprise, some MLB fans took to social media to express their displeasure.
In response, Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account responded to individual tweets in which kneeling during the anthem — of course an unquestionably polarizing act in the country’s politically divided climate — was specifically condemned.
MLB Twitter was among the social media outlets that shared footage of Kapler and some Giants players kneeling during the anthem.
Members of the @SFGiants kneel during the National Anthem. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/QbvAvCZiEs— MLB (@MLB) July 21, 2020
After the exhibition, Kapler explained why he participated in kneeling during the anthem, saying in part that he wanted to support his players and allow them to “feel safe in speaking up.”
Giants manager Gabe Kapler eloquently explains his reason for kneeling during the National Anthem before tonight's exhibition game in Oakland. #SFGiants— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) July 21, 2020
"I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way we've handled racism (& systemic racism) in this country" pic.twitter.com/6WUgq1fOfD
In an uncharacteristic move in response to the criticism by some individuals, MLB Twitter fired back at those fans who criticized the Giants’ actions in the comment thread following the above tweet.
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
Supporting human rights is not political.— MLB (@MLB) July 21, 2020
Supporting our players and supporting equality is not political.— MLB (@MLB) July 21, 2020
President Donald Trump unsurprisingly also appeared to negatively react to the Giants’ actions in a tweet Tuesday morning about the imminent return of more live sports.
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
It remains to be seen whether MLB will issue any sort of response to Trump’s apparent criticism, on social media or otherwise.