Tony La Russa Says He Disagrees With Gabe Kapler Protesting During National Anthem

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White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Saturday that while he respects Giants manager Gabe Kapler as a fellow skipper and former player, he disagrees with his form of protest relating to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Kapler penned an article Friday on his website KapLifestyle, in which he said he wouldn’t stand while the National Anthem is being played before games for the foreseeable future, writing that he’s “not okay with the state of this country.”

“I think he’s exactly right to be concerned…with what’s happening in our country,” La Russa said before the White Sox’s game against the Cubs, via ESPN. “He’s right there. Where I disagree is the flag and the anthem are not appropriate places to try to voice your objections.”

Kapler’s protest comes in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Tuesday, in which an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.

“When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t,” Kapler wrote. “I don’t believe it is representing us well right now.”

La Russa, 77, added that he believes Kapler’s protest is disrespectful to U.S. servicemen and women.

“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.”

La Russa and general manager Rick Hahn said they don’t know if any players or coaches on their team plan to engage in a similar protest. Cubs manager David Ross was asked for his take on Kapler’s protest, and said sports can be a good place for activism.

“I love what [Warriors head coach] Steve Kerr said,” Ross said. “[Dodgers manager] Dave Roberts had some choice words that he said the other day. I couldn’t agree with those people more. Something has to change. We have to be better.”

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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  1. So a terrible tragedy happens in the U.S. and this SF Coach’s response is to not stand for the U.S. national anthem. So clearly if evil people wanted to further divide the country more, they would perpetrate more tragedies!

  2. So, in the same week, TLR (1) supports the ridiculous “RACIST” claim by “Jackie” … and (2) opposes Kapler’s “Kaepernick” stunt. That odd combination leaves TLR straddling the socio-political divide.

  3. What is more absurd? “Sports people” pretending to understand socio-cultural issues … OR …. academics and politicians pretending to understand “sports”?
    Alas, we are – like Prometheus – condemned for eternity to endure both forms of hollow blather.

  4. Didn’t think Ross would become such a pussy. The Cubs are dead to me anyway since he wore a BLM t-shirt and they traded away the stars.

    LaRussa is right in what he said, but remember, he also called J. Donaldson’s remark to soy boy Anderson racist. Can’t have it both ways.

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