Americans certainly have differing views about whether or not politics belong in sports. Even so, most people would agree a coach should not allow politics to prevent him from completing the most basic tasks of his job.
That is exactly what happened to San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler on Friday.
“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel, like … I feel better about the direction of our country,” Kapler said in a video shared on Twitter.
“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
Kapler clarified in a subsequent blog post that he took issue with gun industries in America and seemingly advocated for more gun control.
“We aren’t free when politicians decide that the lobbyist and gun industries are more important than our children’s freedom to go to school without needing bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills,” Kapler wrote.
There are plenty of issues with Kapler’s reasoning here, starting with his unsubstantiated claim that gun industries should be blamed when deranged criminals use their weapons to commit crimes.
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This logic is flawed at best, and it certainly does not justify disrespecting the flag of our country on a weekend dedicated to the memory of those who have lost their lives protecting our freedoms.
Ridiculous as his protest may be, Kapler has a right to make himself look foolish in this way if he pleases. But another problem arises when this behavior distracts him from doing his actual job.
According to NBC Sports, Giants pitcher Jake McGee was activated from the Injured List earlier on Friday. Kapler intended to utilize him in the game, and he called on him to enter the game in the bottom of the eighth inning.
It was at that point Kapler may have realized his obsession with woke grandstanding may have impaired his ability to effectively coach the Giants.
When McGee tried to enter the game, the umpires informed Kapler he had not listed McGee on the roster card. MLB managers exchange roster cards with each other before each and every game, and listing all eligible players is a basic task each manager is expected to complete.
NBC Sports described Kapler’s blatant mistake as “an incredibly strange day with one of the oddest moments you will see in a baseball game.”
Since McGee was not on the roster card, he was not allowed to enter the game. Kapler instead had to bring in Jose Alvarez, who surrendered two runs en route to a 5-1 loss for the Giants against the league-worst Cincinnati Reds.
“We have an extremely detailed and meticulous group,” Kapler said after the game.”We failed to get McGee on the lineup card. And ultimately, that’s my responsibility.
“So Jake was unable to pitch because he wasn’t on the lineup card. Subsequently, I had to bring [Jose] Alvarez into the game.”
While Kapler did admit it was his responsibility to ensure McGee was on the card, he made no mention of his pregame posturing.
After this, a reporter asked Kapler whether he blamed bench coach Kai Correa for the omission. He refused to throw Correa under the bus, but he did widen the net over his entire staff instead of taking all the blame himself.
“Everything we do around here … we do this together,” Kapler said. “This is a team effort. Our entire staff is incredibly detailed and pays very close attention. There’s a lot going on today. We just f***** it up.”
Kapler takes the blame for Jake McGee being left off the Giants’ lineup card pic.twitter.com/5xj419UfGs
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 28, 2022
With his reference to “a lot going on today,” Kapler was probably talking about his own ridiculous “protest.” But instead of admitting his mistake in obsessing over political grandstanding, rather than his job, he decided to take the we are all to blame route.
With his antics on Friday, Kapler disrespected both the country and the team he is paid to lead. That does not make for a very good day at the office.