‘I am a Christian’: Giants pitcher stands as other players kneel

“I just believe that I can’t kneel before anything besides God,” Coonrod said.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Kneeling in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement has reached Major League Baseball with several teams holding BLM moments pre-game. One player at least refused to do so – Sam Coonrod of the San Francisco Giants.

During the series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, the entire team knelt before the game. Coonrod stood however, citing his Christian faith.

“I’m a Christian,” he said, TMZ Sports reported. “So I just believe that I can’t kneel before anything besides God.”

Coonrod told reporters after the game that there were also things about BLM that he didn’t agree with. “I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism,” he said. “And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can’t get on board with that.”

“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 said.

Giants Manager Gabe Kapler, who has expressed support for BLM had been encouraging his team to take a knee. Kapler also took a knee throughout the national anthem. The Giants lost 8-1.

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On July 20, at an exhibition game with the Oakland A’s, Kapler and at least two other players knelt before the start.

“I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality, and I told them I wanted to amplify their voices, and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well,” Kapler said.

Kapler said he respected Coonrod’s decision. “The one thing that we said is we were going to let people express themselves,” Kapler said. “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.”

Coonrod was the only player to stand during the BLM moment. They held a black stripe cloth as they did so, imitating a gesture by the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals earlier that day. The player held the stripe and knelt and then stood for the national anthem.

“We wanted to do something united, something together,” Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said after New York’s 4-1 victory, called in the sixth inning because of rain at Nationals Park.

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The Washington Times reports that there have been calls to boycott major league baseball as a result of what some see as disrespecting the U.S. flag.