- The Washington Times - Friday, July 24, 2020

San Francisco Giants player Sam Coonrod was the only player who declined to kneel for Black Lives Matter during the season opener Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a decision he attributed to his Christian faith.

“I’m a Christian, so I just believe that I can’t kneel before anything besides God,” the 27-year-old pitcher said, according to TMZ.

He cited the Black Lives Matter Global Network’s position on the nuclear family. On its website, the group says, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement.”

“I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism,” said Coonrod. “And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can’t get on board with that.”

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said in a 2015 interview that she and co-founder Alicia Garza were “trained Marxists.”

“We actually do have an ideological frame,” Ms. Cullors told Real News Network. “Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on sort of ideological theories.”

Bishop Aubrey Shines, who leads Conservative Clergy of Color, commended Coonrod for his stance.

“I’m moved by this young man’s courage and faith,” said Mr. Shines in a statement. “He knows where to give his due for all that’s good in this world. Our country was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment and Christianity. Americans don’t bow to anything or anyone except God Almighty.”

The other Giants and Dodgers players took a knee and held a black ribbon before the game, then stood for the national anthem. The only player who continued to kneel during the anthem was Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, according to MLB.

Giants manager Gabe Kaplan said he respected Coonrod’s decision.

“The only thing we said is we were going to let people express themselves,” Kapler said. “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.”

Players also wore “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts and were given the option of wearing “Black Lives Matter” patches on their uniforms.

Former MLB player Aubrey Huff commended Coonrod, saying “he’s making league minimum,” unlike the superstar Betts, and that “young Sam is getting crushed by liberal media.”

“We need to show him support,” said Huff, asking viewers to go to Coonrod’s Instagram page.

The MLB season kicked off Thursday, and each team will play only 60 games in their geographic region to limit travel in the name of slowing the novel coronavirus.

“The leftists who run Black Lives Matter want to strip our country of those principles with the worship of ‘the revolution,’ but I’m pleased to see that Mr. Coonrod isn’t going to be bullied by the mob,” said Mr. Shines.

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