July 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Major League Baseball (MLB) player has cited his Christian faith as the reason he stood alone among a sea of kneeling players during a moment of silence designed to show support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement to kick off baseball season last week.
Sam Coonrod, pitcher for the MLB San Francisco Giants, said he meant “no ill will” for refusing to take a knee in the league-approved BLM-inspired moment of silence but said that as a Christian, he believes he should kneel only to God.
“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 quoted as saying to reporters in a San Francisco Chronicle report.
MLB kicked off its season last week, although in a shortened form due to a delay in its start because of the coronavirus crisis.
Before the Giants/Los Angeles Dodgers game Thursday, a league-approved voice narration featuring actor Morgan Freeman was played on loudspeakers.
Twenty-seven-year-old Coonrod was the only player not to kneel during the ceremony, which saw players hold a black ribbon in support of BLM. Coonrod was shown holding the ribbon despite not kneeling.
MLB posted on its Twitter account a video showing players listening to Freeman’s narration. The link included some of the text Freeman can be heard saying.
“Today, and every day, we come together as brothers, as equals, all with the same goal: to level the playing field. To change the injustices. Equality is not just a word. It’s our right! Today we stand as men from 25 nations on 6 continents. Today, we are one,” says Freeman in the MLB video.
In speaking with reporters after Thursday’s game, Coonrod said that as a Christian, he simply could not “get on board” with a “couple of things” he had read about the BLM movement.
“I can’t get on board on a couple of things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean toward Marxism and said some negative things about the nuclear family,” Coonrod was quoted as saying in the Chronicle report.
Despite claiming to be for inequality, the leftist BLM movement has a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and anti-family agenda. In its online manifesto titled “What We Believe,” BLM speaks against the nuclear family, which is what Coonrod noted as one of his concerns about the movement.
PETITION: Support pastors fighting against oppressive state mandates Sign petition here.
“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,” says the BLM manifesto.
In recent years, professional sports in the U.S. and indeed worldwide have increasingly become politicized, with many athletes in the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and MLB refusing to stand during the U.S. national anthem.
Freeman’s voice narration was also played before the start of a game between the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees in Washington, D.C. last Thursday. All players were seen kneeling.
It was at this game that the White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci gave the opening pitch. Fauci was later chided for being photographed for not wearing a mask at the game. He was seen sitting with his wife and a “close friend” and later said that at that moment, he had his mask off to take a drink of water.
Although Freeman’s narration does not mention BLM directly, at the Nationals/Yankees game in D.C., the letters “BLM” can be seen written on the playing field at the back of the mound.
Also, during the warm-up in the same game, some players wore t-shirts with the wording “Black Lives Matter.”
While everyone except Coonrod knelt for the BLM ceremony at Thursday’s Giants/Dodgers game, few players knelt for the playing of the U.S. national anthem.
Coonrod was criticized by some sportswriters for not taking a knee, with one writer, Monte Poole, saying that although he agrees that Coonrod had the right to do what he did, his appeal to his Christianity was questionable.
“When did real Christianity opt out of humanity? Give a pass to injustice and inequality? Decide that it’s disrespectful to offer support, if not shelter, to those in need? Does Coonrod not realize that pastors of all faiths are joining crowds around the world fighting for these very ideals?” asked Poole.
Despite criticism from the press, Giants manager Gabe Kapler, who supports BLM, said last week that he supports Coonrod in expressing his beliefs.
A recent survey by YouGov and the Cato Institute concluded that many conservatives, along with those in the center and even moderate liberals, are afraid to speak their minds.
BLM has in recent weeks gained steam to a high level of both corporate and mainstream media acceptance. Many prominent U.S. tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, along with countless others, have directly endorsed BLM, or have issued statements about “systemic racism” in the U.S.