SF Giants Manager Gabe Kapler No More National Anthems For Me ... Until Our Country Changes

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler is very upset about the direction of our country after the latest mass shooting ... and now he's protesting the national anthem.

Gabe says he's breaking from baseball tradition and plans to no longer join players and coaches on the field before games for the playing of the national anthem.

The Giants manager told reporters Friday in Cincinnati before his club played the Reds, "I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country."

In a post on his personal blog earlier Friday, Gabe reflected on the Uvalde school shooting and the response across the sporting world.

Gabe wrote ... "The day 19 children and 2 teachers were murdered, we held a moment of silence at sporting events around the country, then we played the national anthem, and we went on with our lives."

The all-too-familiar response is not sitting well with GK, who adds ... "We didn’t stop to reflect on whether we are actually free and brave after this horrific event, we just stood at attention."

Gabe says his father taught him a lesson early on in life, and he's applying it to his anthem protest.

"When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn't," Kapler writes. "I don't believe it is representing us well right now."

Gabe says he tried to protest the anthem earlier this week, but it didn't materialize.

"My brain said drop to a knee; my body didn’t listen," he wrote. "I wanted to walk back inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to call attention to myself. I didn’t want to take away from the victims or their families. There was a baseball game, a rock band, the lights, the pageantry. I knew that thousands of people were using this game to escape the horrors of the world for just a little bit. I knew that thousands more wouldn’t understand the gesture and would take it as an offense to the military, to veterans, to themselves."

Gabe says after a few days of reflection, he decided on his anthem protest.

Bottom line for Kapler ... "I am not okay with the state of this country ... The home of the brave should encourage this."

NRA Benefit Concert The Show Will Not Go On ... Country Music Star Says

The National Rifle Association is scrapping its benefit concert in Texas ... with performers dropping out left and right, the show will NOT go on.

Country music star Jacob Bryant was the only remaining act for the NRA concert in Houston, which was scheduled for the organization's annual conference, and he announced Friday the show has been axed.

Jacob made the announcement on Twitter as he was being pressured on social media to join the ranks of other performers who dropped out in the wake of this week's tragic mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.

As we reported ... the first domino was "American Pie" singer Don McLean, who decided the day after the Uvalde school shooting, which claimed the lives of 19 students and 2 teachers, he would not perform on the NRA stage. Don said it would be disrespectful to perform.

Next, "Broken Lady" singer Larry Gatlin pulled out Thursday, saying he could not perform at an NRA event in good conscious, saying he supports the 2nd amendment but wants background checks for gun purchases.

Jacob was the last man standing after T. Graham Brown, Lee Greenwood and Larry Stewart followed suit ... and it appears the hammer came down Thursday, though there has yet to be official word from the NRA.

The Uvalde shooting happened about 280 miles away from the NRA's convention, which is now also the site of mass protests.

Depp vs. Heard Fiery Closing Arguments ... Jury Begins Deliberations


12:06 PM PT -- The rebuttals from Johnny and Amber's legal teams were intense ... with Depp's attorney calling Amber a liar and Heard's lawyer saying the allegation is all a hoax on Amber's end and is "vicious and vile."


Johnny's lawyer, Camille Vasquez, went first in her rebuttal ... calling Amber a liar and saying Heard's story was constantly shifting throughout the trial, with the accusations of abuse never the same.


Depp's team claimed Amber gave the performance of her life on the witness stand, but they say she was caught in lie after lie. Camille says Johnny had to sue because it was the only way to defend himself and expose Amber as an alleged liar.


Amber's attorney, Ben Rottenborn, fired back when it was his turn to address the jury ... bristling at Depp's lawyers calling Heard untruthful.


Rottenborn doubled down on his argument that Depp abused Amber in different ways outside of physical abuse, including emotional and verbal abuse. BR also ripped Depp's lawyers for trying to box in abuse as something that is only physical or sexual.


After the rebuttals, the judge read the jury instructions and sent them off to deliberate ... and there was applause in the courtroom.


10:18 AM PT -- Amber's other attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, promised to be quick with her part of closing ... and she certainly fulfilled it. EB raced through her arguments with the jury -- which were all about JD's ex-attorney's statements that AH countersued over -- and Elaine went through examples of why she believes his remarks were defamatory ... mostly arguing, the abuse happened.


She also touched on how his statements have affected her career -- and said Walter Hamada himself -- the WB exec -- testified that Jason Momoa and James Wan emailed him insisting if they were going to work on the second film together, Amber also had to be included.

her career was tanked

The takeaway on this issue was ... why would those key guys from the movie say that unless there was some feeling that WB wanted her out. Elaine argues it's clear Amber's star was shot down as a result of this -- and asked the jury to award her reasonable damages.


Court is in recess and will come back for rebuttals, which the judge said would be much shorter. Amber's team has much less time than JD's to make their case upon return.


8:59 AM PT -- Rottenborn just made an interesting argument in closing -- he says not only did JD physically abuse Amber, but suggests that even the stuff he did outside of alleged hitting constitutes abuse ... including the notorious video of him slamming cabinets in their kitchen.


BR was emphatic that what the jury saw there was horrific for Amber to experience, saying that abuse does not necessarily need to manifest in the physical form to be valid.

this is abuse!

It's an interesting point ... as many know, DV doesn't just have to be beatings -- it certainly can take shape in other ways, including emotional, verbal, etc. That's kind of what Rottenborn is saying here -- she might not have the smoking gun documented, but what she does have on tape still supports her claims of abuse ... and backs her account as a victim.


8:33 AM PT -- Amber's attorney, Ben Rottenborn, came out swinging in closing arguments with a powerful sentiment -- namely, asking the jury to think about what Johnny and his team are suggesting with their premise ... that if you didn't document abuse, it didn't happen.


Rottenborn went on to list other implications he believes JD is outlining -- including ... if you did tell people, it's a lie; if you did document injuries, they're fake; if you tried to help your spouse, you were actually sabotaging them. BR says these are dangerous ideas to try and cement with a verdict and that they have a broader negative impact on DV victims.


He also said the jury is not here to decide if JD actually abused Amber, but more specifically -- if her op-ed piece and the alleged defamatory statements are protected speech under the First Amendment. He said the two statements in the actual body copy are true on their face, and that she didn't actually write the headline about "sexual violence" in question.


7:47 AM PT -- Chew went through the jury instructions with the actual jury themselves, going through each question one by one and explaining why he feels he and his team have made the case for each -- including the notion that they've proven Johnny did not abuse Amber. He also noted that on the issue of damages, JD doesn't care about money or punishing Amber ... he just wants to be vindicated and to finally get his reputation back in a court of law.


7:25 AM PT -- Chew is touching on what Amber's claims did to Depp's reputation. He invoked his most famous role, Captain Jack Sparrow, and said that JD will go to his grave knowing some people who used to look up to him now believe he beat a woman as a result of what AH has done ... regardless of the outcome of this trial. He also says this is NOT a #MeToo moment ... because no one has come out of the woodwork to say "Me Too."


7:13 AM PT -- Camille just wrapped her portion of closing, and she was effective in detailing each allegation of abuse from Amber and picking it apart in front of the jury. Her takeaway message ... you either believe all of her claims or none. She insisted she and the team have proven, through evidence and testimony, that Amber is lying ... and Johnny is telling the truth -- namely, that she allegedly abused him, not the other way around. Ben Chew is up.

who's telling the truth?

6:32 AM PT -- The attorney addressed Johnny's amputated finger, and said the injury was caused by a broken vodka bottle thrown at him by Amber. She also said Amber's allegation of sexual assault with a liquor bottle was a bald-faced lie ... saying someone who would have undergone such trauma would not simply go to bed and fall asleep.


Vasquez told the jury ... with all the photos and videos of Amber over the years of their relationship, there were no visual signs of abuse.


Vasquez played a damning video where Amber said she donated her $7 million settlement to charity. She says she gave the $7 mil. to the ACLU and Children's Hospital -- she did not.


Vasquez brought up the feces in the bed, saying it was all orchestrated by Amber who was enraged that Johnny showed up late for her 30th birthday party and struck him before he left. Vasquez says Amber wanted more than a divorce -- she wanted to ruin Johnny.


Johnny's lawyer, Camille Vasquez, came out of the gate swinging, saying Amber Heard went to an L.A. courthouse in 2016, filed a claim of abuse and ruined his life. Vasquez also says the mark on her face that was apparent as she left the courthouse, captured by photogs, was fake ... appearing 6 days after she last saw Johnny. She said there is an abuser in the courtroom, but it's not Johnny -- it's Amber.


Vasquez went on ... Amber was desperate for attention and suffered from a personality disorder laced with anger. She said it was Amber who emotionally and physically abused Johnny.


One of the most powerful moments -- Vasquez played an audiotape of Amber admitting she hit Johnny, but somehow distinguished a hit from a punch and called him a "baby" for complaining about it.

The trial of Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard is in its final stages with closing arguments set for today, and the jury will then begin the Herculean task of trying to figure out who's telling the truth and who's lying.

Gervonta 'Tank' Davis Pushes Rolly Romero Off Stage ... Nearly Come To Blows At Weigh-In


Tank Davis couldn't wait to put his hands on Rolando Romero ... the undefeated fighter shoved Rolly off the stage moments after they faced off before their highly anticipated boxing match, nearly sparking a brawl between the fighters and their camps.

TMZ Sports was just feet away, outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, when the incident kicked off ... in what was supposed to be weigh-ins and the final face-off for the undefeated boxers before they scrap Saturday night in NYC.

After squaring off, 26-year-old Rolly (14-0, 12 KOs) took a half-step forward and flexed, with his right arm appearing to come close to 27-year-old Tank's (26-0, 24 KOs) head.


Gervonta clearly didn't like that, and gave a one-armed push to the back of Romero, who was forced to jump down from the stage ... an elevated platform a few feet high.

Rolly immediately made a beeline for Tank, but was held back by people on stage. Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions (Davis is splitting with the promotion after the Romero fight), was in the mix, keeping the fighters away from one another.

While the scene was chaotic, peace was ultimately restored, and no one was injured

It's not a surprise the men tried to hurt each other ... there's A LOT of bad blood between them. And, on the surface it doesn't seem to be manufactured beef to sell a fight -- these guys flat out don't like each other.

Good thing for Tank and Rolly, the fighters get to beat the hell out of each other in about 30 hours.

We were excited before ... now, can't wait!

Def Leppard Surprise Show at Whisky a Go Go!!!


A legendary rock band played a surprise set at a legendary Los Angeles music venue ... with Def Leppard jamming out at the famous Whisky a Go Go.

The English rock band, which has been going strong for over four decades, took the stage Thursday at the historic nightclub in West Hollywood, playing their hits to a packed house who went absolutely bonkers.

Def Leppard's setlist included all the classics ... "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Hysteria," "Animal," "Foolin'," "Love Bites," "Rocket," "Excitable," "Bringin' on the Heartbreak," "Rock of Ages" and "Photograph" ... just to name a few.

The surprise show coincides with Def Leppard releasing a new album Friday, "Diamond Star Halos," and they naturally played some of the new tracks ... like "Take What You Want" and "Kiss."

The band's been hanging around Hollywood for a few days at least ... performing this week on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show.

Def Leppard's new album is their first in 7 years ... and next month they're embarking on a stadium tour with Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett.

Rock on!!!

RAY LIOTTA Smiling and Vibrant ... Selfie with Fan Days Before Death

Ray Liotta was as polite and courteous as ever when he posed with a fan in the Dominican Republic just days before he passed away -- but more importantly ... he looked fine.

TMZ has obtained a photo of Ray on Sunday, May 22 -- a mere 4 days before he suddenly died in the island nation -- and this woman who was fortunate enough to snap a selfie of the two of them says he was as kind and receptive as could be.

Alba tells us she was strolling through BlueMall in Santo Domingo when she caught a glance of Ray walking alongside a couple of handlers as he was headed into a pharmacy.

While RL was inside, Alba walked up to his associates and asked if she could approach ... and they gave her the thumbs up. Alba says Ray embraced her, and was super gracious ... even praising her on how well she spoke English, given she was a DR native.

Alba would go on to pop the question -- asking for a selfie, not his hand in marriage -- and Ray didn't hesitate to say yes! Once Alba was satisfied with her photo, Ray said farewell.

As we reported, Ray died in his sleep Thursday, as he was accompanied by his fiancée in the Dominican Republic filming a movie called "Dangerous Waters." Sources close to the situation tell us Ray was in good spirits and happy to be working ... and that there were no signs of health issues leading up to his death. That's backed by this photo -- he looks fairly vibrant.

Ray's former castmates, colleagues and fans have taken to social media to show an outpouring of support for the beloved actor ... and while this selfie may be a drop in the bucket, it's an exclamation mark for the type of person he was. He was just 67.

KANYE WEST Revives Custody War With Kim ... In New XXXTentacion Song

Kanye West's back at it again, airing grievances about how his four children with Kim Kardashian are being raised ... this time in a brand new single with the late XXXTentacion.

Ye and X's "New Love" was released on Thursday night, and while the song as a whole explores the struggles of being in a relationship and keeping love alive ... Ye laments in his opening verse about how he doesn't spend as much time with his children as he wants to.

His verse opens with, "Wait, when you see the kids? I'll see y'all tomorrow // Wait, when the sunset? I see y'all tomorrow"

There's more. Ye almost makes it sound like the kids couldn't see him even if they wanted to, saying ... "And you know all the nannies said, "Daddy in Nebraska" / Let the kids dig a tunnel to my house like Chapo."


As we reported ... Kim apologized to her family on the most recent episode of "The Kardashians" for attacks Kanye had made towards them of late, via music -- specifically, in his track "Eazy," where he invoked Pete Davidson.

Kanye has obviously never been one to bite his tongue, especially when it comes to how his kids are being raised. You'll recall ... he and Kim beefed a few months back over 8-year-old North West's use of social media, among other things.

Mind you, Ye hasn't been cut off from the kids, as he just enjoyed a daddy-daughter date with North at Nobu. So, he's certainly seeing them -- but it sounds like he doesn't like the nature of sharing custody in general ... or at least that's the sense we get from his new single here.

Uvalde Teacher's Husband Placing Flowers Before Heart Attack

The husband Irma Garcia, of one of the teachers who was murdered at Robb Elementary School, was videotaped placing flowers on a cross bearing his wife's name just hours before he died.

Joe Garcia was seen carrying the bouquet, riddled with grief, as he walked to the cross, placed the flowers next to it and walked away.

As Joe left, he looks stoic ... although he was clearly anything but.

He died later that night of a heart attack. A relative said the family believes he died of a broken heart. His nephew, John Martinez, posted, "EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma's husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn't easy."

Joe and Irma were married for 24 years and had 4 kids.

It's just beyond heartbreaking.

Uvalde School Massacre 11-year-old Student Covered Herself in Blood ... To Avoid Death

An 11-year-old student at the Robb Elementary School in Texas went into what a relative called "survival mode" after seeing a classmate who was fatally shot by the gunman, and smeared the other girl's blood all over her body to make it appear she too was dead.

It's horrific to even imagine, but Miah Cerrillo is now suffering extreme trauma after taking measures to save her life.

Her aunt, Blanca Rivera, went on KPRC and explained how her niece "played dead."

According to Rivera, the 4th grader grabbed the phone of her teacher -- who was also shot and killed -- and called 911.

Rivera says around midnight the day of the shooting, she got a call from Miah's mom saying her daughter was having a panic attack.

The massacre was made all the worse for survivors after learning law enforcement didn't enter the building for more than an hour after the initial attack. Authorities have not given clear answers explaining the delay, because there were officers present almost immediately but they did not enter until reinforcements came with body armor.

There was a point when the 18-year-old gunman started firing shots out a window in the school, yet police apparently did not fire back in an attempt to neutralize him.

Britney Spears I Love Vegas!!! ... But It Won't Be Home

Britney Spears has made one thing very clear -- she loves being back in Vegas -- but there are no plans to make Sin City her temporary home with a new concert residency ... TMZ has learned.

Britney had fans freaking out last weekend when she posted video and photos of herself at the new Resorts World Las Vegas with her fiancé Sam Asghari and best friend/agent Cade Hudson. It was clear, the hotel had rolled out the red carpet for Britney ... with many speculating it could be the beginning signs of a larger partnership between the two.

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We've spoken with several sources close to Britney who tell us while she had a great time, there weren't any talks about a possible residency, and the thought of getting back on stage any time soon just isn't even something Spears is entertaining.

One other thing, it's pretty clear Resorts World would LOVE having Britney as a concert resident, check out the massive billboard they put up in her honor during the trip.

Of course, Britney's "Piece of Me" residency at Planet Hollywood in 2014 and 2015 was incredibly successful. In 2018, Britney announced she'd begin another Vegas residency at Park MGM, but that never happened as things with her conservatorship turned sour.

While we know there aren't yet talks for Britney to return to the Vegas stage, her fans are certainly itching for a performance or new music ... which she's recently teased.

As for her most recent Vegas trip ... Britney stayed at Resorts World's $15,000 a night suite, complete with a private pool, movie theater and a massive billboard dedicated to the singer.

'Bridgerton' Star Ruby Barker Hospitalized with Mental Struggles 'I want to Survive'

Ruby Barker, one of the stars of the massive Netflix hit "Bridgerton," has opened up about her mental struggles that have landed her in the hospital.

Ruby posted a video Thursday revealing her struggle, saying, "It's time to be transparent."

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The 25-year-old didn't hold back ... "I have been really unwell for a really long time. I want to be honest with everyone. I have been struggling."

Ruby wasn't specific about where she's being treated, saying, "I am in hospital at the minute and I am going to be discharged soon and hopefully get to continue with my life."

Her message came during Mental Health Awareness Week in the U.K., so the timing is not coincidental ... "I am going to take a little bit of a break for myself and I would encourage others, if you are struggling, do yourself a favor and take a break. Stop being so hard on yourself."

Ruby explained what symptoms had manifested that made her aware she needed help, saying she was "rage-filled" with "intergenerational trauma bundled up inside me."

She went on... "I was carrying the weight of the world on my back and now I am at the point where I can have a diagnosis ... I can't carry on the way that I was. I need to change so that is what I am trying to do. I want to survive and I will survive. I am going to."

Her message will undeniably help others who are in similar circumstances ... suffering in silence.

'Selling Sunset' Real Estate Office Overrun By Fans ... Trying to Get Glimpse Inside


"Selling Sunset" fans keep showing up at The Oppenheim Group real estate office, peering in the tinted windows and taking pics out front ... so much so, agents now have signs on the door.

The makeshift signs are politely asking fans ... "PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE GLASS" ... but folks just don't seem to care, because we got video of several groups putting their faces right on the windows, trying to catch a glimpse.

As you can see, most tourists just try to sneak a quick peek then run off to giggle with their friends, or make their boyfriends snap a bunch of pics for the gram ... but watch what happens to the one guy who was bold, or stupid, enough to try opening the door.


Sorry folks, it appears the best bet to see Chrishell, Christine, Mary, Heather, Amanza, Maya, and Davina and the Oppenheim bros in action is to be a legit real estate client.


Or you can always Netflix and chill.

Luka Doncic Autographed Rookie Card ... ... Million Dollar Card?!

An autographed Luka Dončić rookie card with an actual patch from a game-worn jersey is about to hit the auction block, and TMZ Sports has learned it could sell for 7 figures!!

The super-rare card -- soon headed to the PWCC Premier Auction -- is 1 of just 5 copies in existence. The last time a similar card sold, it went for a million bucks.

Officials at PWCC tell us this isn't just any ordinary NBA rookie card ... in fact, reps say the keepsake is one-of-a-kind due to the Emerald color scheme it boasts.

The front of the card features 23-year-old Luka shooting a jump shot ... along with the patch from his Mavs jersey.

Luka, the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, has become one of the most effective offensive players in the world ... he's virtually unstoppable.

Dončić, a native of Slovenia, has drawn parallels to NBA legend Larry Bird for his ability to score, rebound, and facilitate at an elite level -- in addition to the leadership skills he displays.

Despite only playing 4 full seasons, Luka is already 10th on the NBA's all-time triple-double list -- with 46 -- behind Bird, who's ahead of him at 9th on the list.

And, PWCC exec Jesse Craig says the card could actually end up being a bargain.

"The question now is if he can win a ring. If he leads Dallas to a championship – or to multiple championships – the demand for his assets is likely to keep going up. To find this card, in this low of quantity, right now is an incredible opportunity.”

Auction begins June 2. Good luck!

Stony Stars ... Have A Rockin' Weekend!

Just when you thought celebs couldn't get any boulder ... they apparently love to take on new heights and pose on top of rocks ... but make it cute edgy, right?!

Emulating the sedimentary stone and mountain aesthetic, leave it up to sisters Kendall and Kylie to show off their sculpted and rockin' bods as they hit up the state parks in Utah.

Shaun White stepped away from the snow and into the rugged hills of Greece, and singer Mick Jagger stepped onto a Rolling Stone in Nashville, Tennessee.

Check out our gallery of even more celebs exploring earth's curvature that will truly knock your rocks off!

Have a rockin' holiday weekend!

So What?! Music Festival TX Event Putting Safety First ... Active Shooter, Stampede Countermeasures in Place!!!

Memorial Day Weekend means hip hop festival season is upon us, and the So What?! Music Festival in Texas -- with some big name headliners -- is pulling out all the stops for the safety of ticketholders.

Juicy J, Trippie Redd, 2 Chainz, IDK, 24kGoldn are on the lineup for the Arlington concert, and the promoter Third String Entertainment is doing all it can to avoid anything like the tragedy at Travis Scott's AstroWorld festival last year in Texas.

Third String's Mike Ziemer tells TMZ Hip Hop their safety procedures run deep. He says meetings with law enforcement agencies like the Texas Rangers, fire marshals and other city officials started way back in January ... as they wanted to nip any potential issues in the bud.

They're also featuring "quiet rooms" for fans who need timeouts, and access to every water fountain in Choctaw Stadium to ensure dehydrated fans can get relief.

Everyone will have to pass through metal detectors upon entry ... Ziemer says they have procedures in place for active shooters, because that's, unfortunately, a painfully real possibility these days.

In terms of crowd management, So What?! actually capped the festival attendance at 20,000 -- well below the stadium's 50,000+ max capacity -- to ensure fans can have a good time without fear of overcrowding or stampedes.

Additionally, all 3 stages will have headliners performing at the same time, thereby reducing the threat of crowds rushing from one spot to another.

Waka Flocka Flame, $not, B-Lovee and Tyla Yaweh round out the rappers performing and Mike says the aim is for everyone to have fun ... and safely.

David Spade SNL Is A 'F***ing Beating' for the Cast!!! Not Surprised by Mass Exit


David Spade survived the gauntlet that is "Saturday Night Live" ... and isn't all surprised by the mass exodus we've seen from some of the show's major players in the last week.

We spoke with the 'SNL' alum at LAX who didn't mince words when he told us the show is a "F****** beating" -- AKA, a grind. Spade's comments come directly on the heels of the departure of Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and others from the weekly comedy show.

David says while he was able to last 6 seasons on 'SNL,' it's both tough on a comedian's brain and their body ... saying it's insane that some comedians are able to last 8, 9, even 10 seasons.

Pete Davidson did 8 seasons on the show, and our photog asked Spade if he thought now that it's all said and done, if Pete will be remembered as one of the greats. David doesn't give a direct response, just saying he hasn't seen enough of Pete's time on the show.

There is however, one big advantage Spade says the show's new era has in order to help get sketches out that he never had ... watch the clip to hear the formula.

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