San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin implements new policy requiring dugout to stand for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin has implemented a new policy for the team’s dugout requiring every member to stand for the US national anthem – ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’

Melvin says his reasoning for the mandate isn’t based on any political motivation – or even a Major League Baseball (MLB) ruling – instead explaining that it is meant to show a unified front before games.

“Look, we’re a new team here, we got some good players here,” Melvin told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale 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.

“It has nothing to do with whatever happened in the past or whatever, it’s just something I embrace.”

The US national anthem kicks off every NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS and NHL game featuring an American team, but it’s a notable change for the Giants.

Former Giants manager Gabe Kapler kneeled several times in protest over the death of George Floyd in 2020 and didn’t take to the field for the national anthem in the 2022 season in response to that year’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.

“We stand in honor of a country where we elect representatives to serve us, to thoughtfully consider and enact legislation that protects the interests of all the people in this country and to move this country forward towards the vision of the ‘shining city on the hill,’” Kapler wrote in a blog post in 2022.

“But instead, we thoughtlessly link our moment of silence and grief with the equally thoughtless display of celebration for a country that refuses to take up the concept of controlling the sale of weapons used nearly exclusively for the mass slaughter of human beings.

“We have our moment (over and over), and then we move on without demanding real change from the people we empower to make these changes. We stand, we bow our heads, and the people in power leave on recess, celebrating their own patriotism at every turn.”

Melvin says that he’s implemented similar rules during stops with the Oakland Athletics and the San Diego Padres.

“It shows that we’re ready to play,” Giants infielder Wilmer Flores said, per the Athletic.
“That’s the message we want to send to the other team.

“Even if you’re not playing, you’re engaged. You’re there to watch the game. It’s definitely something he wanted us to do. We’re here to play, right? I think it’s good. It doesn’t mean you’ll have a good result this season. But it’s a good way to start.”

San Francisco announced last year that Melvin was returning to the Giants, this time as manager. Melvin spent three seasons with the Bay Area team as a catcher between 1986-88, playing the most amount of games of his MLB career.

Since retiring in 1994, he has gone on to become a productive manager in the league, coaching for over 20 years – including being part of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2001 World Series-winning team as a bench coach – and winning three Manager of the Year awards during that span.

His 1,517 regular season wins rank 25th all-time and are fifth-most among active managers.

The national anthem was played at baseball games decades before it was actually the national anthem. There are records of “The Star Spangled Banner” gracing the diamond going back as far as 1897, but the song wasn’t adopted as the national anthem until 1931.

CNN’s AJ Willingham contributed to this report.

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