Gabe Kapler, Giants players kneel during National Anthem.
It might not be a “real” game but the players from the San Francisco Giants made a real statement on Monday. During the team’s preseason showdown with the Oakland Athletics, multiple players and coaches took a knee during the National Anthem as a sign of solidarity for the Black Lives Movement cause.
Jaylin Davis and Antoan Richardson can be seen kneeling with their hats over their hearts. Brandon Crawford stands between them with his hands on their shoulders as a show of unity. Also kneeling are Manager Gabe Kapler along some of the coaching staff. Outfielders Mike Yastrzesmki and Austin Slater were also seen participating in the moment.
The United States and California State flags were flown at half-mast as well.
Read Jaylin Davis’ moving essay on racism
This is not surprising to see from Davis especially as he penned a moving blog about his experience with racism within baseball.
“I have personally experienced racism during my baseball career,” he wrote. “My sophomore year, at Appalachian State University, I was running down a ball in right centerfield when I heard a couple guys in the crowd yell something about a monkey and bananas. I was kind of shocked, but didn’t say anything. I felt if I reacted, they’d know it got to me and that would make it worse. I already had the pressure of it being the first game of the season and it was against one of the top teams (Arkansas) in the SEC at the time. I just kept telling myself to stay focused on the game and tune everything else out. Our right-fielder heard what was said and began yelling at the guys. When we got back to the dugout he told the coaches what happened on the field. The coaches immediately asked if I was OK. I said I was, even though I wasn’t. I was angry, hurt, and in shock. Here it was 2014 and these guys felt safe enough to yell such an outrageous, racist comment in public. As I was warming up in between innings an older white couple sitting nearby called me over and apologized and said that they had security remove the guys from the game.”
The Giants will open their season officially when they face off with the Los Angeles Dodgers, their division rivals.