San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sam Coonrod was the only person on either the Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers who did not kneel for the Black Lives Matter movement before their opening game.
Coonrod explained why he didn’t kneel to news outlets after the game.
“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 USA Today. “I just can’t get on board with that.”
He was referring to comments made by a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter organization about she and other organizers being “trained Marxists.” Some conservative commentators have also argued that the group is using tactics that are reminiscent of Marxist movements and political organizations in the 20th century.
The group says it also wants to dismantle the nuclear family. “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable,” according to the group’s website.
“I meant no ill will by it,” Coonrod 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.”
Meanwhile, when the national anthem started after the moment, all of the Giants and Dodgers players stood except for Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, who remained kneeling. Giants manager Gape Kapler also kneeled.
“The one thing that we said is we were going to let people express themselves,” Kapler said in an interview after the game, according to USA Today, referring to Coonrod. “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.”