White Sox’ Tony La Russa respects Gabe Kapler, disagrees with method

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La Russa respects Kapler, disagrees with protest method originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he disagrees with using the national anthem as a vehicle of protest.

The topic came up before Saturday’s Cubs-White Sox game because Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he would no longer go out onto the field for the anthem in wake of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“I think he's exactly right to be … concerned about what's happening in our country,” said La Russa, who emphasized he respects Kapler personally and professionally. “There's a lot of concern. He's right there.

“Where I disagree is that the flag and the anthem are not appropriate places to try to voice your objections.”

Nineteen students and two teachers were killed in the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday. Kapler said Friday he would no longer come out for the anthem, after writing a blog post earlier in the day explaining his thinking.

“That’ll be the step,” Kapler told reporters. “I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily, but it’s just something that I feel strongly enough about to take that step.”

La Russa said the anthem is not an appropriate method of protest while putting it in the context of military personnel.

“Talk to any serviceman that put their life on the line,” La Russa said. “When they're out and around, some of their courage comes from what the flag means to them and when they hear the anthem.

“To me, it isn't the flag and the anthem that you want to point out and say 'I'm not gonna...I'm going to draw attention by not...' I think it's a mistake.

"With Gabe, I think it makes more sense to figure out which of those issues and speak about the ones he doesn't like and what he'll do about it.

“I'll say it, I have great respect for him. I like him, and I think he's right. But it's not the flag and it's not the anthem.”

Watch La Russa’s entire answer in the video below:

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