Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell made quite the statement Saturday, becoming the first Major League Baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem. If Monday is any indication, that decision has the support of the home fans.
Maxwell appeared in a game for the first time since his protest Monday against the Seattle Mariners. When he walked to the plate for his first at-bat in the second inning, the Oakland fans cheered for him. Some even stood and clapped for Maxwell as he got into the box.
The 26-year-old catcher explained his decision to kneel to our own Jeff Passan with an impassioned interview. Maxwell, whose father served in the military, put a lot of thought into his decision, and explained to both his teammates and the A’s organization why he decided to take a knee.
Maxwell lined out to left on the second pitch of the at-bat. He finished the game 0-for-3 with a strikeout as the Mariners beat the A’s 7-1.
The response to Maxwell is somewhat surprising considering how fans have reacted to other athletes who have protested during the national anthem. Not long before the A’s took the field Monday night, a crowd in Arizona booed the Dallas Cowboys for taking a knee before the national anthem was played prior to Monday Night Football. They stood up for the actual anthem, but the fans still booed when the team took a knee before the song was played.
Prior to the start of the Athletics game, a marching band from Oakland Unified School District played the anthem at Oakland Coliseum. The entire band took a knee during the anthem.
Marching band from Oakland Unified School District takes a knee. pic.twitter.com/IkIIc2vF0I
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) September 26, 2017
As of Monday, Maxwell remains the only MLB player to protest during the anthem. While fan reaction should not be the reason other players join him, it will be interesting to see whether other players around the league take notice and decide to kneel along with Maxwell in the coming days.
(BLS H/N: Deadspin)
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