San Francisco Giants Manager Mandates Surprising National Anthem Policy

New San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin is requiring everyone in the dugout to stand on the field for the national anthem. The policy has taken effect during spring training and the expectation is for it to continue in the regular season, outlets reported.

The move may strike some as surprising given the city’s liberal bent and former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick’s historic protests several years ago.

But Melvin insisted there’s no politics behind the mandate.

“Look, we’re a new team here, we got some good players here,’’ Melvin told USA Today in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday. “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 continued, “It has nothing to do with whatever happened in the past or whatever, it’s just something I embrace. You want your team ready to play and I want the other team to notice it, too. It’s as simple as that. They’re embracing it.”

San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin talks with coaches in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Friday, March 1, 2024, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Melvin said he had the same rule as manager of the Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres and had to crack down from time to time.

The Athletic previously reported that Melvin wants to enforce the policy during the regular season although getting full participation will be “trickier” because of different pregame routines. “But the expectation is that everyone who can be out there standing at attention will be out there standing at attention,” The Athletic wrote.

The man he replaced to lead the Giants, Gabe Kapler, embraced activism when it came to the anthem. Kapler stopped appearing on the field in 2022 for “The Star-Spangled Banner” after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Sports Illustrated reported. He also took a knee in protest following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020.

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler takes a knee while playing the national anthem before a September 2020 game.
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler takes a knee while playing the national anthem before a September 2020 game. via Associated Press

Kaepernick’s demonstrations to raise awareness of racism and police brutality began in 2016, putting him in the cross-hairs of backlash that included the rage of Donald Trump.

HuffPost has reached out to the Giants for comment on its anthem policy for the coming season.