Players, managers, and coaches on the Giants and Dodgers kneeled together for a moment of solidarity at the beginning of the season opener while holding a black cloth before the national anthem…all but one. S.F. Giants pitcher Sam Coonrod did NOT kneel with the rest of his teammates in a showing of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, saying his religion and his personal feelings about BLM wouldn’t allow him to do it.
Instead, Coonrod remained standing near the far edge of the infield dirt behind first base as his teammates kneeled in almost perfect unison like the display in the Yankees-Nationals game earlier Thursday night.
"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."
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 24, 2020
After the game, Coonrod said because of his Christian faith he “can’t kneel before anything besides God.” He also said he does not agree with everything he has heard about the Black Life 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, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “I just can’t get on board with that.”
(Photo/USA Today Sports)
Coonrod said he did not have time to discuss the matter with teammates or coaches before the game because he did not find out about the decision to kneel until late in the day. Several Giants players and coaches remained kneeling during the anthem, including manager Gabe Kapler. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts was the only Los Angeles player to kneel as the anthem began, according to USA Today.
“The one thing that we said is we were going to let people express themselves,” Kapler said postgame over Zoom. “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.”