**The above story is about the plans to play the Black national anthem before each game in week one of the upcoming season
OAKLAND, California (CNN) — San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler knelt alongside multiple players during the national anthem in Monday’s game against the Oakland Athletics.
The Giants’ posted a video of its team members kneeling on their official Twitter account with the caption “#BlackLivesMatter.“
Monday’s game was the Giants’ first exhibition game of the season. The regular season for Major League Baseball is set to begin Thursday. Every team will play a 60-game schedule entirely against teams in their own geographic region to limit travel.
Kapler, who was raised in an atmosphere of activism, has been outspoken about the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the Giants website. During his postgame interview, Kapler said the team has been having conversations about standing or kneeling for the anthem for the last three days. Kapler said he wanted to convey two messages to the players: the Giants organization supports them and he himself wasn’t pleased with how the 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,” he said. “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, and I wanted them to know that they got to make their own decisions and we would respect and support those decisions.”
Farhan Zaidi, Giants president of baseball operations said in a statement the team was proud of players and staff for participating in the national discussion on racial injustice.
“We support those who knelt to peacefully protest racial injustice and those who stood to express love of country. We do not see these as mutually exclusive sentiments and believe freedom to express both is what our country is about,” Zaidi said.
Outfielders Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater along with first-base coach Antoan Richardson were among the other players and staff to kneel Monday.
The Major League Baseball organization was also responding to people’s feedback of the kneeling on Twitter. One user said the players and manager were disrespecting the military.
“It has never been about the military or the flag,” MLB said in response. “The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.”
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Keynan Middleton also knelt and put his fist in the air during the national anthem Monday during the Angels’ game against the San Diego Padres.
The kneeling comes at a time when athletes, entertainers and companies are coming to terms with systemic racism and the killings of Black people at the hands of police. Athletes from professional leagues to high school teams have been kneeling for the anthem in support of the ongoing protests for social justice and racial equality. But the most prominent athlete to take a knee during the anthem has been Colin Kaepernick, who first sat and then kneeled for the anthem in 2016.
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