Tony La Russa believes Gabe Kapler's protest 'not appropriate' during anthem

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La Russa: Kapler's protest during anthem 'not appropriate' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s silent protest in the wake of Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas has caught the attention of many, but not everyone is on board with his decision to remain in the clubhouse during the national anthem.

On Saturday, Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa voiced his opinion on Kapler’s chosen form of protest before his team’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

The 77-year-old made it clear that while he respects and likes Kapler, and even agrees with his stance on gun violence, he disagrees with the Giants manager’s refusal to come out onto the field of play and stand for the anthem (h/t ESPN’s Jesse Rogers).

“I think he's exactly right to be concerned ... with what's happening in our country," La Russa told reporters on Saturday. "He's right there. Where I disagree is the flag and the anthem are not appropriate places to try to voice your objections."

Following the devastating shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 children and two teachers, Kapler published an essay to his personal website on Friday morning explaining how he originally considered a silent protest, like taking a knee or returning to the clubhouse, before the Giants' games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hours after the blog post, before the Giants began a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark, Kapler told reporters he wouldn’t be coming out for the anthem until he feels “better about the direction of our country.”

He added that earlier in the week, he wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a protest and needed time to think about how he wanted to act.

“Sometimes for me it takes me a couple of days to put everything together,” Kapler said. “I knew that I was not in my best space mentally and I knew that it was in connection with some of the hypocrisy of standing for the national anthem and how it coincided with the moment of silence, and how those two things didn't sync up well for me."

La Russa told reporters on Saturday that while he applauds Kapler’s intentions, his lack of participation in the playing of the anthem is disrespectful to the U.S. military.

RELATED: Why Kapler supported sending Bart on game-ending play vs. Reds

“Some of their courage comes from what the flag means to them and when they hear the anthem," La Russa said. "You need to understand what the veterans think when they hear the anthem or see the flag, and the cost they paid and their families. And if you truly understand that, I think it's impossible not to salute the flag and listen to the anthem."

Kapler’s chosen form of protest against gun violence comes nearly six years after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality -- an action also subjected to scrutiny from some.

But other MLB managers have voiced support for Kapler’s protest, like Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward, who called the action “brave,” and Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who said he’s “proud” of his former teammate.

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