If you are uncomfortable with Gabe Kapler wading in the social justice waters you better get used to it. If you don’t, you’re going to be uncomfortable for a while.
That became clear on Monday when Kapler and a number of Giants players kneeled during the national anthem, something he and they did again on Tuesday. If you thought this was going to be just a preseason phenomenon, Kapler released a lengthy statement on Wednesday night explaining his decision to kneel, which would seem to set up him doing it again during the club’s regular season opener on Thursday.
Kapler has made his position clear, citing a disdain for the way minorities have been treated in this country as his reason for protest. Some have heaped praise on Kapler for this, but many are not on board, and many in that camp are not afraid to express their anger.
That puts Giants CEO Larry Baer seemingly in an awkward position, considering it’s not exactly good business to alienate fans. But Baer is sticking by his manager, and explained his thoughts on the matter when he joined Murph & Mac on Thursday morning.
“Everybody’s got their views in life,” Baer began. “I may not match up 100 percent with any group, but we’re in different times now, and the right to express your opinion is a fundamental value of this country. I’ve noticed that Steve Kerr has made a lot of statements that people respect out in the community, and Gabe is an integral part of the Giants, and Gabe views it as his responsibility to make the comments as part of his platform.
Baer said point blank that he is not “leaning” on Kapler to do anything.
“I think Giants fans, however you look at the action, Giants fans got to see that this is a person that has his own fingerprint and he’s certainly focused on…if you want to stand with your hand over your heart and salute that’s fine. If you want to stand or kneel Gabe has made it clear in the clubhouse that anybody is open to do what they want.”
To listen to Baer’s interview, start from the 39:00.