Pichet SF Giants Sam Coonrod did NOT kneel down with the rest of his teammates to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday … saying his religion and personal feelings about BLM would not allow him to do so.
“I’m a Christian,” said the 27-year-old pitcher, “so I just believe I can’t kneel down to anything other than God. “
If you missed it, MLB provided teams with a long piece of black cloth to signify unity ahead of its opening day games on Thursday.
Yankees-Nationals ceremony went off without a hitch – players reunited grabbing the sheet and kneeling … And the moment was powerful.
But, later that night, when the time came for the Dodgers and Giants to replicate the moment… Coonrod refused to kneel down.
After the game, he told reporters that his religious beliefs prevented him from participating … but he also said that he didn’t believe in some of the things he believed BLM stood for.
“I just can’t understand a few things that I read on Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism,” Coonrod said. “And… they said negative things about the nuclear family. I just can’t go with this.
Coonrod said he meant ‘no ill will’ by his gesture… and added, “I’m not mad at someone who decided to kneel down. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for the same respect. “
On behalf of the team, manager Gabe Kapler – who not only knelt for the BLM moment but also during the national anthem – said he respected Coonrod’s decision to step down.
“The only thing we said was we were going to let people have their say,” Kapler said. “We were going to give them the choice of whether they were going to stand up, kneel down or do something else. It was a personal decision for Sam. ”