San Francisco Giant Sam Coonrod refused to kneel before the National Anthem with the rest of his team before last night’s game with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“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. “And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can’t get on board with that.”
“I meant no ill will by it,” Coonrod told reporters after the game. “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.”
Sports Illustrated criticized Coonrod for the move, accusing him of hiding behind his religion.
“Coonrod seems to be missing the point of the ribbon display: It was meant to be an anodyne alternative to actual protest. Even if you believe that kneeling during the national anthem is somehow disrespectful to the military, kneeling during a Morgan Freeman speech gives you another way to show support with risking blowback,” the magazine wrote.
“And in fact, last night only a handful of Dodgers and Giants (Mookie Betts, San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler and Pablo Sandoval among them) were brave enough to kneel during the anthem.”
Others in the sports journalism community came to the pitcher’s defense however.
Sports Illustrated said this man “hid” behind his religion. The walk of a practicing Christian is lonely. Takes courage. https://t.co/vXqL4lTN4j
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) July 24, 2020