A’s Catcher Bruce Maxwell Becomes 1st MLB Player to Take a Knee During Anthem
Rookie, son of a military dad, joins growing protests as President Trump criticizes 'disrespectful' athletes
A rookie catcher on the Oakland A’s has notched an unlikely milestone: The first MLB player to take a knee during the National Anthem.
By kneeling as the rest of his teammates stood while the Star-Spangled Banner played before Oakland’s 1-0 win Saturday night, Maxwell officially joined a nationwide controversy.
“My decision had been coming for a long time,” Maxwell, a product of Huntsville, Ala., where Trump started his campaign to demand the NFL fire or suspend players who kneel for the anthem on Friday, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The only way we can come together is by informing. … To single out NFL players for doing this isn’t something we should be doing — I felt it should be a little more broad.”
Maxwell also brings an interesting background to the plate. He’s both African American and the son of a military officer and professes a deep love for flag and country.
“The point of my kneeling was not to disrespect our military or our constitution or our country,” Maxwell told the newspaper. “My hand was over my heart because I love this country and I have family members, including my father, who bled for this country, and who continue to serve.”
He added that he considers the United States, “the best country on the planet,” but right now “we have a racial divide that’s being practiced from the highest power we have in this country saying it’s basically OK to treat people differently.”
Teammate Mark Canha put his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder during the Anthem as a sign of support.
A growing number of high-profile athletes have been taking a knee or using a Black Panthers Party salute during the National Anthem before games to draw attention to what they call the unfairness with which people of color are treated by the police. The practice was started last season by then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has not been signed by a team since. Critics say the kneeling is disrespectful to the troops that put themselves at risk to defend the country.
This article was featured in the InsideHook newsletter. Sign up now.
Suggested for you