A sports reporter for NBC penned an op-ed on Friday arguing that MLB pitcher Sam Coonrod betrayed his ignorance, swam against progress, and opted out of humanity when he chose not to kneel during a moment honoring Black Lives Matter last week.
Monte Poole wrote in “Giants’ Sam Coonrod had every right to stand, but his reason fell short,” that while Coonrod had every right not to kneel, he was wrong to appeal to his Christian faith as a rationale.
Coonrod made headlines on MLB’s Opening Day game in Dodger Stadium last Thursday when he was the only player who remained standing as others grasped a black ribbon and knelt for BLM. He later explained that his faith kept him from gesturing in favor of an organization with Marxist roots.
“I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism,” Coonrod said. “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,” he added. “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.”
[Coonrod] did nothing wrong,” Poole conceded, but added, “He said plenty wrong, though, offering up an explanation that slid off his tongue and went dribbling down his chest like liquid contradiction.”
After suggesting “Coonrod’s own interests are in conflict with protesting racial inequality,” Poole said, “one need not be a card-carrying BLM member to decry the obvious wrongness of America’s ways. That some perceive the desire for equality as a ‘political’ statement says a lot about them. It’s only political because some continue to place politics over the concept of humanity.”
Poole concluded by hitting at Coonrod for thinking his Christianity “has, somehow, disqualified him from the cause” of pursuing equality to atone for “America’s two greatest sins” of slavery and stealing land from Native Americans.
National Republican Senatorial Committee senior adviser Matt Whitlock wrote of Poole’s op-ed, “The speed with which we went from debating whether kneeling during the anthem was appropriate to ‘if you stand during the national anthem you’re a bigot’ is mind-blowing. This commentator writes that standing for the anthem ‘gives a pass to injustice and inequality.’ As if kneeling during the national anthem is the only way to address injustice and inequality.”
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