A day after Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell said a waiter refused to serve him for political reasons, the waiter is speaking out. Matthew Henry, the waiter who was allegedly involved in the incident, told WDZW News that the story is “an absolute lie.”
Maxwell, the only Major League Baseball player to kneel during the national anthem, told TMZ that a waiter in Alabama refused to serve him because the waiter was a Trump supporter.
Maxwell told TMZ:
“He was like, ‘You’re the guy who took the knee? I voted for Trump and I stand for everything he stands for.’”
Henry says he never mentioned President Donald Trump, never talked about kneeling and had no idea who Maxwell was until one of Maxwell’s friends brought it up. According to Henry, the friend didn’t have a valid ID, and was upset when Henry wouldn’t serve him alcohol.
At that point, Henry says councilman Devyn Keith, who was dining with Maxwell, asked for another waiter, according to Fox News. Keith backed up Maxwell’s version of events to the Washington Post.
All parties involved are keeping the name of the restaurant private, as they don’t want to draw negative attention to the business. Neither Keith nor Maxwell mentioned Henry by name when recalling the event. Henry described Maxwell as “gracious” during the meal.
Henry spoke about the situation because he didn’t want people to have a negative view of Huntsville, Alabama, Maxwell’s hometown and the place where the restaurant is located. He has asked Maxwell to issue an apology to him and the city.
“I would like a public apology from Mr. Bruce Maxwell,” Henry said. “And I would like one for all the folks I worked with. He represents Huntsville, Alabama, whether he likes it or not and we’re not the kind of people who would do that kind of thing.”
The 26-year-old Maxwell explained to Jeff Passan why he chose to kneel just days after making that decision. Maxwell, who comes from a military family, says his protests have been about racial injustice in the United States. He cited his run-in with the waiter as an example of the types of things he was protesting when he spoke with TMZ.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Annoyed with media, CamNewton walks out on news conference
• How Chargers fans became an endangered species
• Poll: Trump wrong to seek firing of NFL players
• David Stern drastically changes stance on marijuana