It took 13 games that the Dallas Mavericks hosted before media or fans noticed they were not preceding the contests with a playing of the national anthem.
The Giants will not be trying the same tack.
The national anthem will continue to be played before games at Oracle Park this season, KNBR has learned, which likely means there will be more statements during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Several Giants, including manager Gabe Kapler and outfield star Mike Yastrzemski, took a knee during the anthem last season in joining a movement launched by Colin Kaepernick and heightened in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, which saw protests across the nation and a reckoning regarding the treatment of minorities, especially by police, in the United States.
The Mavericks’ decision to not play the anthem stemmed from owner Mark Cuban talking with members of the community who, he has told reporters, have felt the tradition “did not fully represent them.” The NBA stepped in Wednesday and announced all teams will play the national anthem “in keeping with longstanding league policy,” which the Mavericks now will adhere to.
That policy does not exist in Major League Baseball. There is no mandate that the song honoring the country is played, though it has long been customary for the fans and teams to stand and salute the flag during the song. Canada’s national anthem is played before Blue Jays games, too, and each team in MLB has followed this tradition.
The country has reached a stage in which so many well-established and time-honored traditions are getting a longer look, and baking patriotism into a baseball game is at best peculiar. For the Giants, though, it’s a custom that will continue for the 2021 season, although the players and staff will continue to hold the freedom to make statements.