This Is How You Do It: SF Giants Manager Will Require Players to Stand on the Field for National Anthem

Well here’s a breath of fresh air – after we’ve seen former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and friends kneel for the national anthem and the US Women’s Soccer Team refusing to sing along, now we get a baseball manager who’s apparently had enough of such shenanigans and is requiring his players to be on the field for The Star-Spangled Banner.

His name is Bob Melvin, and he took over the reins of the SF Giants in the off-season:

San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin wants his players to pour out of the dugout and stand for the national anthem before spring training games.
Melvin, who took over the team in the offseason after spending two seasons with the San Diego Padres, told The Athletic that he wants to show his opponents that his players are ready to play. The team is required to abide by Melvin’s rule and the manager hopes it will carry into the regular season. 

It seems that there’s a new sheriff in town:

Melvin explained that he wants spectators – and the other team – to know that his squad is ready for action.

“It’s all about the perception that we’re out there ready to play. That’s it. You want your team ready to play, and I want the other team to notice it, too. It’s really as simple as that…
“Look, we’re a new team here, we got some good players here,” Melvin said, per USA Today. “It’s more about letting the other side know that we’re ready to play. I want guys out here ready to go. There’s a personality to that.”

He denies any political motivations behind his new rule, but it’s quite a different approach from his predecessor.

Melvin has maintained that his rule has nothing to do with politics, but it’s a stark contrast from what was seen under Gabe Kapler.
Kapler, who managed the Giants from 2020 to just near the end of the 2023 season, refused to stand on the field for the national anthem in the wake of the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, school shootings. According to The Athletic, there was “no wrong answer” to how players handled the anthem.

So far, the players appear to have no problem with the rule.

“I think it sets the example of hey, we’re in this together,” Giants outfielder Austin Slater told The Athletic. “Whether you’re not playing that day or you’re a starting pitcher who threw yesterday, you’re still out there, on time, ready to be a good teammate.”
“Once the anthem starts, we’re locked in on the game as a unit. There’s an inherent respect level, and not only to the older guys but to your entire team. You’re there to be supportive. The other big part, and this might be the biggest, is you’re staying and watching the game and learning from the game. I think that’s important.”

Regardless of his reasoning, Melvin’s decision is laudable. Fans are tired of seeing spoiled millionaire athletes spitting on the legacy of our country. If you don’t like it here, you are free to go play somewhere else — be sure to send a postcard. 

These are some of the most privileged people in the world, they’re paid to play a game for goodness’ sake. Regardless of Melvin’s explanations, he has to know on some level that he is sending a message that it bigger than just, “we’re ready to play.” 

I applaud it.

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