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Giants Solder

Nate Solder opts out of Giants season amid son’s cancer fight – New York Post

July 29, 2020 | 3:32pm

Nate Solder is putting family over football after leaning on his faith.

As his veteran teammates reported to training camp Tuesday, Solder informed the team he will opt out of the 2020 season, as announced on his Instagram. The two-pronged opt-out clause for COVID-19 safety was agreed upon last week by the NFL and its Players Association, with Solder casting a vote as the Giants’ union representative.

Solder, 32, is a testicular cancer survivor and the father of a 5-year-old son, Hudson, who was diagnosed with a rare Wilms tumor at three months old. Hudson underwent surgery to remove a tumor last fall and had his third round of chemotherapy last fall.

Like Solder, Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon is a cancer survivor who opted out, while Steelers running back James Conner is a survivor who opted in. There is no unanimous answer for how to handle the circumstances, though higher body mass index (expected in 300-pound linemen) is identified as a risk factor.

Solder can earn $350,000 and a credited NFL season towards medical insurance and benefits because he is high risk. His contract essentially pauses for one year and the team-high $19.5 million salary cap hit comes off the books in 2020 and transfers to 2021, with the final year before free agency pushed until 2022.

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Nate Solder has opted out of the 2src2src season
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There is a $150,000 stipend cash advance to be paid back for players who opt out but are not deemed high risk. The Patriots have a league-high six players who opted out.

Though he is coming off an admittedly disappointing season, Solder was expected to start at either left or right tackle, opposite rookie first-round pick Andrew Thomas. With Solder out, the Giants will turn to veteran journeyman Cam Fleming, rookie third-round pick Matt Peart or free-agency leftovers.

Fleming has 26 career starts over six seasons with the Patriots and Cowboys and is the only player on the roster familiar with the triumvirate of head coach Joe Judge, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and offensive line coach Marc Colombo.

The freed salary cap space allows the Giants to chase a late splash at an area of weakness like pass-rusher (Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen remain available) or cornerback. DeAndre Baker is saddled on the no-practice Commissioner’s Exempt List (pending appeal) as Logan Ryan and Dre Kirkpatrick remain available.

The deeply religious Solder and his wife are unwavering in their charitable endeavors, especially when it comes to enhancing the lives of children. He was the Giants’ 2019 nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Players have seven days to opt out after the still-pending ratification of the amended Collective Bargaining Agreement, so the earliest deadline is Aug. 4.

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Giants reliever

Giants reliever Sam Coonrod explains why he didn’t kneel for Black Lives Matter moment before opener – USA TODAY

, USA TODAY
Published 9:28 a.m. ET July 24, 2020 | Updated 9:37 a.m. ET July 24, 2020

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During a moment of solidarity Thursday in the season opener, players, managers and coaches on the Giants and Dodgers kneeled together while holding a black cloth before the national anthem. All but one. 

San Francisco reliever Sam Coonrod was the only person on either club who did not kneel during the moment used to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Instead, Coonrod remained standing near the far edge of the infield dirt behind first base as his teammates kneeled in almost perfect unison like the display in the Yankees-Nationals game earlier Thursday night. 

After the game, Coonrod said because of his Christian faith he “can’t kneel before anything besides God.” He also said he does not agree with everything he has heard about the Black Life Matter movement.

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“I’m a Christian, like I said, and I just can’t get on board with a couple of things that I have read about Black Lives Matter. How they lean towards Marxism and they’ve said some negative things about the nuclear family,” Coonrod said, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “I just can’t get on board with that.”

Coonrod said he did not have time to discuss the matter with teammates or coaches before the game because he did not find out about the decision to kneel until late in the day. 

Several Giants players and coaches remained kneeling during the anthem, including manager Gabe Kapler. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts was the only Los Angeles player to kneel as the anthem began. 

“The one thing that we said is we were going to let people express themselves,” Kapler said postgame over Zoom. “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.”

Coonrod’s remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement resembled those of Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, co-owner of the WNBA Atlanta Dream, when she said on Fox News in July that BLM is “based on Marxist principles” and “doesn’t support the nuclear family.”

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.

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Alyssa Giants

Giants’ Alyssa Nakken becomes first woman to coach on-field during MLB game – CBS Sports

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San Francisco Giants‘ Alyssa Nakken made history in Monday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics. She became the first woman to coach on-field during a MLB game when she went in and took over as the team’s first-base coach in their 6-2 win. 

Nakken replaced Antoan Richardson late in the Summer Camp exhibition game. 

Afterwards she tweeted, “I look calm, but what a rush!”

The team celebrated her accomplishment and Giants outfielder Hunter Pence wrote on Twitter following the win, “Congratulations on making history!”

The 30-year-old joined the Giants coaching staff in January and became the first woman in the major leagues to hold a full-time coaching position. She started with the organization in 2014, working her way up from an intern in the baseball operations department.

While Monday was her first time coaching first base coach during a game, she is no stranger to the responsibilities of the role, thanks to summer intrasquad games. She also worked with Richardson this offseason and monitored outfield and baserunning instruction.

Nakken knows she is leading the way for other women in sports and admits she feels a “great sense of responsibility” to serve as a good example.

“I feel it’s my job to honor those who have helped me to where I am,” she told MLB.com in February. “Coaching, I never saw it. This job has kind of been hidden for so long. I’m so excited to be in this role for the challenge and the opportunity to make an impact for this organization that I love. But also, I’m excited that now girls can see there is a job on the field in baseball. It’s really cool.”

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Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants manager, several team members take a knee during national anthem – NBC News

The San Francisco Giants manager and several coaches and team members took a knee during the national anthem before their first exhibition game in the Bay Area on Monday night.

Manager Gabe Kapler and members of the coaching staff joined players Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater, and Jaylin Davis and coaches Antoan Richardson and Justin Viele in taking a knee, according to NBC Bay Area. Shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between Richardson and Davis, who are both Black, and placed his hands on their shoulders in an apparent sign of support.

The Giants did not announce before the game against the Oakland A’s at Oakland Coliseum that some members would kneel, but Kapler, who was hired in November, said he had informed the team of his plans.

“I wanted to share what my plans were and I did that because I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality. I told them that I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well,” Kapler said, according to NBC Sports.

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He said the decision was the result of weeks of conversations with community organizations and also with the team.

“I told them that I wanted to use my platform to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way we’ve handled racism in our country. I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with our clear systemic racism in our country,” Kapler said. “And I wanted them to know that they got to make their own decisions and we would respect and support those decisions. I wanted them to feel safe in speaking up, and so we had these kinds of discussions for the last several days and will continue to have them.”

Asked if he and other Giants would continue kneeling, Kapler said, “We’re going to have 60 chances during the regular season to make the same decision that we made today, to either stand or kneel or do something different.”

In a statement, Farhan Zaidi, the President of Baseball Operations for the San Francisco Giants, said the team was “proud of our players and staff for continuing to participate in the national conversation about racial injustice.”

“We support those who knelt peacefully to protest racial injustice and those who stood to express love of country. We do not see these as mutually exclusive sentiments and believe the freedom to express both is what our country is about,” the statement said. “As an organization, we reaffirm our denouncement of acts of discrimination and violence against members of the Black community and our pledge to work together with those who seek to end racial justice in America.”

MLB shared video of the kneeling moment on Twitter, and defended those who knelt. “Supporting human rights is not political,” MLB responded to one critical fan. To another person complaining that kneeling during the anthem disrespected the military and the flag, the league said, “It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.”

On the same field in 2017, Bruce Maxwell, catcher for the Oakland A’s, was the first MLB player to take a knee. Although his team expressed support at the time, Maxwell told NBC Sports that the Giants’ gesture Monday received a far more positive response.

“It’s definitely night and day,” Maxwell said of the reactions. “It’s a different experience, a different response in this day and age than back in 2017, extremely. But it’s good to see,” Maxwell said after the Giants beat the A’s in the Monday game.

“I felt joy, honestly,” Maxwell said. “That was probably my primary emotion. To feel joy that the message and the purpose of the kneeling is being spread among our sport.”

Meanwhile on Monday, Los Angeles Angels reliever Keynan Middleton also kneeled and raised his fist during the national anthem before an Angels game against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park, NBC Sports reported.

Elisha Fieldstadt

Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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