San Francisco may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about patriotic gestures, but the Giants’ new manager is determined to change that.

Bob Melvin, who took over the team in October of 2023, recently announced that all players are now required to stand for the national anthem at the start of each game.

Melvin explained his reasoning behind the new policy to USA Today, stating, “We’re a new team here, we’ve got some good players. 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.”

This turn of events is a stark contrast to the policies of former manager Gabe Kapler, who had kneeled during the anthem and was the first major league coach to do so.

After the tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas in 2022, Kapler made the decision to no longer take the field before each game. He had also kneeled previously in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd in 2020.

On the other hand, Melvin expressed that his decision to require standing has nothing to do with the past or any specific events. He simply believes in the importance of this patriotic display. “It’s just something I embrace,” he added.

Melvin’s emphasis on standing for the anthem stems from his belief that it contributes to team unity and a winning mentality. He wants his team to be fully prepared for each game, and he wants the opposing team to take notice as well. “You want your team ready to play, and I want the other team to notice it, too,” said Melvin. “It’s as simple as that. They’re embracing it.”

With over 20 seasons of experience as a manager, Melvin’s track record speaks for itself. During his time with the Oakland Athletics from 2011 to 2021, he achieved an impressive aggregate .516 record.

Notably, he led the A’s to their best-ever July standing of 19-5 in 2012 and guided them to their first playoff appearance since 2006. Melvin’s success earned him the American League Manager of the Year award, and he finished his tenure with the A’s with 853 wins, the second-most wins by a manager behind Hall of Famer Connie Mack.

The national anthem has unfortunately become a political topic in recent years. This was evident during this year’s Super Bowl when many Kansas City Chiefs fans refused to stand during the Black National Anthem, known as “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The NFL began playing this anthem ahead of high-profile games as a response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.

However, the league has quietly scaled back such displays, including removing the “End Racism” banner from end zones. The Washington Commanders, formerly known as the Redskins, have also faced appeals to change their name but have not done so.

It remains to be seen how Melvin’s stance on standing for the anthem will be received. However, his dedication to team unity and the importance he places on this display of patriotism cannot be overlooked. As the Giants move forward under Melvin’s guidance, it will be fascinating to see how this new policy influences the team and their performance on the field.