"I feel that if I did kneel, I would be being a hypocrite."
The only baseball player who refused to kneel during a moment honoring Black Lives Matter in Dodger Stadium on Thursday claimed he did so because of his Christian faith.
Sam Coonrod, a 27-year-old reliever for the San Francisco Giants, explained his act by saying he only kneels before God, according to TMZ Sports.
Coonrod also said that his faith kept him from endorsing the Black Lives Matter movement because of its Marxist political platform. "I just can't get on board with a couple things I've read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism. And … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can't get on board with that."
"I meant no ill will by it," Coonrod maintained. "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."
"I chose not to kneel," he added. "I feel that if I did kneel, I would be being a hypocrite. I didn't want to be a hypocrite. Like I said, I didn't mean any ill will toward anyone."
Most players from the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, LA Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants who played Thursday took hold of a black ribbon and knelt in honor of Black Lives Matter before their games, and many also knelt during the national anthem.
Coonrod, who said he had to make his decision about kneeling before he was able to speak with teammates, afterward spoke with Giants manager Gabe Kapler, according to NBC Sports. He said of his boss, "He's not going to get mad if I disagree with him. I think that's part of the problem nowadays. People get mad whenever someone disagrees. I'm not mad at someone that decided to kneel. I think it's not too much to ask that I just get the same respect, you know?"