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Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Saturday he disagrees with San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler’s decision to protest the national anthem following a a school shooting in Texas that left 21 dead.
“I think he’s absolutely right to be concerned…about what’s happening in our country,” La Russa said on Saturday night, ESPN reported. “He’s right there. Where I disagree is that the flag and the anthem are not appropriate places to try to air your objections.”
The day before, Kapler said he would not perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the pregame ceremony “in the future.” He also clarified his decision in an op-ed saying he “does not agree with the state of this country.”
The White Sox manager says protesting the national anthem is an insult to the men and women who served and died in the US military in defense of it.
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“Part of their courage comes from what the flag means to them and when they hear the anthem,” La Russa said before the White Sox finally fell to the Cubs 5-1. veterans when they hear the anthem or see the flag. And the price they paid and their families. And if you really understand that, I think it’s impossible not to salute the flag and listen the anthem.
In an op-ed, Kapler said he was taught the national anthem and that the American flag should be revered, but he didn’t think it was representative of the current state of America.
“When I was the same age as the children of Uvalde, my father taught me to defend the oath of allegiance when I believed that my country represented its people well or to protest and remain seated when it was not not the case,” Kapler wrote. “I don’t think that represents us well at the moment.”
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Kapler’s decision received mixed reactions as others supported the protest.
Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward called the protest “brave”.
“I think we’re all frustrated, especially in this country,” Woodward said, ESPN reported. “Nobody’s happy. It’s not about which side you’re on. It’s just that we have to improve as a society. … I’m not really going to comment on that anyway whether or not I would do it, which he did.”
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The protest came after an 18-year-old suspected shooter killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday with guns he bought days after his birthday.