Sam Coonrod’s decision to stand as controversial as Kaepernick’s decision to kneel

By Melissa Talbert July 25, 2020
Sam Coonrod Sam Coonrod

San Francisco Giants reliever Sam Coonrod defended his refusal to kneel with teammates during a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Thursday, saying he'll 'only do so before God because he is Christian.

The responses have been varied.

Alex Pavlovic, who covers the Giants for NBC Sports, posted one of the many articles about the matter titled, ‘Sam Coonrod explains why he was outlier before Thursday’s game’. The article, published by NBC Sports, attracted varying views on the athlete’s decision.

One reaction came from @process_this76 arguing that as a Christian, Coonrod should have wanted to spread unity and love by kneeling for a cause that supports equality.

“This is facts.

"Sad part is, it should be an excuse for doing the exact opposite. Being a Christian means loving everybody no matter what. Imagine not wanting to “kneel” to fight for racial inequality... How racist you gotta be.”

Dave whose Twitter handle is @thesalakian made a subtle jab at the potential for hypocrisy in Coonrod’s stance by pointing to his relationship status.

“He’s married. How’d that proposal go?” Dave said.

Similarly @Pdximport said, “When he proposes to his partner they will be shocked when he walks up, opens the ring box and says, ‘I only kneel before god’.”

While some fans are shocked that he didn’t participate, many are of the belief that politics and religion should be left out of sports completely. @ZP025 represented those fans who rather not mix politics with sports by saying “Opening day and we're talking politics. Awesome.”

However, others believed Coonrod should be free to do whatever. Jill Wade @allmericanboymom tweeted, “he shouldn’t have to explain himself for standing. He can believe whatever he wants to believe. No one faults the people kneeling, why is he getting ridiculed? Ridiculous society we live in right now.”

All points of view expressed have merit.

It is true that you shouldn’t mix politics, religion and sports. It is also true that Coonrod may be hiding behind his religion to avoid supporting a cause he doesn’t believe in. But just as important, Coonrod has a right to disagree, just as Colin Kaepernick had a right to take that first knee. Showing what you stand for through your actions should be the right of every man. How do we decipher which truth is the one that we choose to accept?

I know, for me, as a black woman, it is difficult to ignore the righteousness of the Black Lives Matter movement for the idea of free speech. But I may have to because if freedom of expression should be a right extended to me, it should be extended to everybody.

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

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