San Francisco Giants May 21, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants players stand on the field during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants begin a new era this season with manager Bob Melvin, so fans will notice some changes.

One change will be visible before games even start: Melvin wants all his players, coaches and staff standing on the field for the national anthem.

It’s not for the political reasons many fans might think.

“It’s all about the perception that we’re out there ready to play,” Melvin said (via The Athletic). “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.”

Still, it’s an ironic move, given former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the trend of national anthem protests in the city in 2016. Former Giants manager Gabe Kapler did not stand for the anthem before games in 2022.

“It shows that we’re ready to play,” Giants infielder Wilmer Flores told 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.”

Fans checking in on X/Twitter generally applauded the change, even if Melvin claims it was not done for political reasons.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.