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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr applauded San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler on Sunday for his decision to protest the national anthem in the wake of the Texas school shooting, adding that he believes it’s important for everyone “to express their frustrations.”
Kerr was asked about Kapler’s decision on Sunday and expressed his support of any “peaceful protest.”
Giants manager Gabe Kapler looks on from the dugout during the Atlanta Braves game at Oracle Park on Sept. 19, 2021, in San Francisco. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
“I always support any form of peaceful protest. That’s what our country is founded on,” he said. “I think it’s great that he is making his own statement. I think everyone has to do it their own way, and that’s the way Gabe chose and I applaud him for it.”
He continued: “I think it’s important for everybody to express their frustration, their disgust, their anger, whatever it is in any way that they deem fitting. I support everybody’s right to demand better from our country.”
Kapler said Friday he will no longer stand with his team for the national anthem until he “feels better about the direction of our country” in the wake of the Texas school shooting on Tuesday that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country,” he told reporters before Friday’s game. “That’ll be the step. I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily. It’s just something I feel strongly enough about to take that step.”
Manager Gabe Kapler of the Giants watches the Miami Marlins game at Oracle Park on April 9, 2022, in San Francisco, California. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The decision drew a strong response from White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who stated that protesting the anthem was an insult to the men and women who died and served in the U.S. military.
“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.”
Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors joins a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, before the Western Conference Finals against the Mavericks on May 24, 2022, in Dallas, Texas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Others in the league have backed Kapler’s decision.
He previously protested the national anthem in 2020, when he joined several of his players in taking a knee to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report.