When MLB players knelt to honor the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the season opener, San Francisco Giants pitcher Sam Coonrod was the only player who remained standing, later explaining that, as a Christian, he doesn’t kneel before “anything besides God.”
At the opening day game Thursday between the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium, all the players, except the 27-year-old relief pitcher, kneeled as they held a long black ribbon provided by Major League Baseball organization.
“I’m a Christian, so I just believe that I can’t kneel before anything besides God,” Coonrod said, according to Christian Post.
The pitcher explained the gesture meant “no ill will.”
“I don’t think I’m better than anybody. I’m just a Christian … I feel if I did kneel I’d be a hypocrite. I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” he said, according to San Francisco Chronicle.
“I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean toward Marxism. And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can’t get on board with that,” he was quoted as saying.
“I’m not mad at someone who decided to kneel. I just don’t think it’s too much to ask that I just get the same respect,” he further explained.
Giants team manager Gabe Kapler said he respected Coonrod’s decision.
“We were going to give them the choice on whether they were going to stand, kneel or do something else. That was a personal decision for Sam,” Kapler said.