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Gabe Kapler put his protest during the national anthem on hold Monday in an effort to honor fallen soldiers on Memorial Day.
"Today, I’ll be standing for the anthem," Kapler wrote. "While I believe strongly in the right to protest and the importance of doing so, I also believe strongly in honoring and mourning our country’s service men and women who fought and died for that right.
"Those who serve in our military, and especially those who have paid the ultimate price for our rights and freedoms, deserve that acknowledgment and respect, and I am honored to stand on the line today to show mine."
Kapler stood in front of the Giants dugout with his hand over his heart during a rendition of "Taps" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the first pitch.
Critics of on-field protests during the national anthem have frequently falsely associated them with veterans, active military and fallen soldiers. Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel that ultimately led to his blackballing from the NFL was in protest of police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S. rather than anything related to military service.
Kapler previously explained that he'd decided to remain in the Giants' clubhouse during the national anthem because of his beliefs on "the direction of the country" in the aftermath of last week's elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas that saw a lone gunman kill 19 school children and two adults.
“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country” – Gabe Kapler pic.twitter.com/J1MdlVL3XI
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 27, 2022
“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country," Kapler said on Friday. "That’ll be the step. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily, it’s just something I feel strongly enough about to take that step."
Kapler wrote on Monday that he was making two charitable donations — one to an organization dedicated to ending gun violence and another focused on protecting the health of veterans. He didn't clarify how or if he intends to carry out his protest moving forward.