San Francisco Giants pitcher Sam Coonrod affirmed his Christian faith during Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he chose not to kneel because of his beliefs and disagreements with some of the views of the Black Lives Matter organization.
"I meant no ill will by it," he said. "I don't think I'm better than anybody. I'm just a Christian. I believe I can't kneel before anything but God, Jesus Christ. I chose not to kneel. I feel if I did kneel I'd be a hypocrite. I don't want to be a hypocrite."
Coonrod was the only player on both teams who did not kneel with his teammates, although he joined them in holding onto a black ribbon which represented unity.
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"I just can't get on board with a couple things I've read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism," Coonrod said, according to TMZ Sports. "And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can't get on board with that."
"Today, we are one." pic.twitter.com/fqH8NkJm8A
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 24, 2020
Even though Giants manager Gabe Kapler knelt during the ribbon ceremony and the national anthem, he expressed support for Coonrod's decision to stand.
"We were going to let people express themselves," he explained. "We were going to give them the choice on whether they were going to stand, kneel, or do something else."
The 27-year-old openly explained the reason for his actions but hopes that others can respect that right to freely choose.
"People get mad whenever someone disagrees," Coonrod said. "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."