Even with a global pandemic going on, Opening Day for the MLB was a big deal for its fans. East coast supporters, many of whom were forced to stay at home to watch the games, got to see their New York Yankees take the field against the Washington Nationals.
On the other side of the country, West coast fans got to see their San Francisco Giants take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But, with ongoing race disputes, this opening day is different than all those before it.
All players of all four teams took to the field during the pregame ceremony and took a knee in support of the black community and against police brutality.
The Western Journal reports every player except one: San Francisco reliever Sam Coonrod.
Coonrod knelt during a ceremonial moment, but when the National Anthem started playing on the overhead speakers, he took a stand. His colleagues, however, didn’t show the same respect to the flag and the anthem.
The Western Journal clarifies:
To be clear, the players all knelt before the playing of the national anthem. They all held a black ribbon while a recorded message from actor Morgan Freeman played.
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Some players stayed kneeling during the national anthem.
But again, not Coonrod. And his reasoning for not partaking in the social justice festivities is as good as it got.
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. pic.twitter.com/vKUGdRfwgQ
— MLB (@MLB) July 23, 2020
Asked about his decision, Coonrod cited his Christian faith and said he only kneels to God.
“I’m a Christian,” Coonrod said via the report, noting he also personally disagreed with the political agenda of Black Lives Matter—the group leading the movement against police brutality. “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.”
The giant spoke humbly, saying he did not want to be viewed as a “hypocrite.”
“I don’t think I’m better than anybody,” he said. “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.”
The Western Journal adds:
Of course, it didn’t take long for the establishment media mob to jump on the Giants reliever as cancel culture reared its ugly head.
Sports Illustrated said Coonrod “stood out like a sore thumb” and that he “hid behind his religion.”
And of course, amateur internet sleuths just had to dig into Coonrod’s past, dredging up the fact that he once wore a “Make America Great Again” hat on the Fourth of July.