Some Pros Won’t Kneel for BLM

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by Paul Murano  •  •  July 30, 2020   

Giants pitcher: 'I'm a Christian'

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LOS ANGELES ( - Not all professional athletes are willing to follow the herd and prostrate before Black Lives Matter. One in particular is receiving attention for his courage to stand alone on baseball's opening day.

Sam Coonrod

Sam Coonrod, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, stood tall Thursday night during opening night ceremonies at Dodger Stadium as all his teammates took a knee. The right-handed fast-baller said he chose not to kneel in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) because of his faith.

"I meant no ill will by it," Coonrod told a local NBC Sports outlet. "I don't think I'm better than anyone. I'm a Christian. I just believe I can't kneel before anything besides God — Jesus Christ."

He explained it was simply a matter of conscience, not of making a statement.

"I chose not to kneel. I feel that if I did kneel, I would be being a hypocrite," he continued. "I didn't want to be a hypocrite. Like I said, I didn't mean any ill will toward anyone."

The 27 year-old pitcher said he was told about the kneeling ceremony just before the start of the game — and didn't have time to talk with his teammates about his decision.

His decision had to do with what Black Lives Matter stands for as an organization, which is the antithesis of the Christian vision of life.

"I just can't get on board with a couple things I've read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism," Coonrod explained. "[T]hey said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can't get on board with that."

I just believe I can't kneel before anything besides God — Jesus Christ.

In fact, BLM attacks the nuclear family from all angles. The group's "continued commitment to liberation for all Black people" includes the following tenets, as are delineated on the "What We Believe" page:

We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We ... do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk ... .

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and "villages" ... .

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking ... .

Coonrod added, "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."

In some ballparks around the Major League, like the Washington Nationals', the politically charged messaging was everywhere — from the Black Lives Matter "unity" ribbons to the "BLM" stenciled on the back of the pitcher's mound.

Outside historic Fenway Park in Boston, Red Sox ownership made sure travelers on the Mass Turnpike see a huge Black Lives Matter mural with the Red Sox logo next to it.

We are trained Marxists.

Major League Baseball players had the option of wearing a patch on their jersey sleeve of "Black Lives Matter" or "United For Change" on opening day. Leading black stars of the league made a BLM video to spread throughout the twitterverse.

During a candid interview in 2015, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors explained BLM has a "really clear direction as to where we want to take this movement." She has been open about the group's agenda for years.

"We are trained Marxists," she warned. "We are super-versed on ideological theories."

Jason Heyward of the Chicago Cubs

Further, Greater New York Black Lives Matter president Hawk Newsome recently warned Fox News host Martha McCallum, "If this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it."

Although they're few and far between, other professional athletes have refused to kneel for BLM.

Jason Heyward of the Chicago Cubs, in a convoluted Twitter storm, explained "I don't see it as a necessary situation for me to kneel ... ."

"I wish I could stick to sports," Heywood wrote. "But I have family. I'm going to have children one day, God willing. I am a child. I'm an older brother. I have grandparents. I've got cousins — Marines, military, law enforcement. I'm standing up for them."

Stephon Tuitt, NFL defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers, said Monday he will not kneel during the national anthem.

I'm not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who has a problem with that. My grandmother was an immigrant from the Caribbean and ... worked her ass off to bring 20 people over the right way. She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse. She [is] living good now.

Legendary NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown has said he would never kneel during the national anthem. "I'll never kneel and I will always respect the flag," he said.

President Trump, pleased that professional sports are finally coming back, warned that his own viewership is dependent on the behavior of the players.

"Looking forward to live sports," he tweeted last week, "but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!"

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