On July 23, the Major League Baseball season opener started with an incredible moment, when players, managers and coaches on the Giants and Dodgers teams kneeled together in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement before the national anthem. However, one player refused to take a knee.
San Francisco Giants reliever Sam Coonrod, 27, opted out of the symbolic act, choosing instead to stand at the edge of the field.
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After the game, Coonrod said he declined to participate because of his religion. “I can’t kneel before anything besides God,” he explained. “I chose not to kneel. I feel that if I did kneel, I would be being a hypocrite. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. Like I said, I didn’t mean any ill will toward anyone.”
He also said he does not agree with everything he has heard about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’m a Christian, like I said, and I just can’t get on board with a couple of things that I have read about Black Lives Matter. How they lean towards Marxism and they’ve said some negative things about the nuclear family,” Coonrod said, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. “I just can’t get on board with that.”
Watch a clip of the MLB season opener, below.