Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics became the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem prior to Saturday’s game against Texas Rangers.
According to A’s manager Bob Melvin, the rookie catcher had been considering kneeling for awhile and was moved to do so in light of President Trump’s comments on Friday night, where he criticized players behind the NFL’s national anthem protests.
Maxwell addressed his teammates before taking the field and informed of them of his plan. He even fielded questions to make sure everyone was comfortable.
That was clearly the case, as Mark Canha had his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder throughout and immediately embraced him Maxwell upon the anthem’s conclusion.
Canha says he wanted to be there for Maxwell, calls him his brother. Khris Davis calls Maxwell “courageous.”
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 24, 2017
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Maxwell ripped President Trump in an Instagram post early on Saturday. The message contained some profane language, but can be viewed by clicking here.
On Twitter, Maxwell suggested we would start seeing athletes from other sports join in the protest against racial injustice. He then took that step himself, placing his hand over his heart while kneeling alongside his teammates.
After the game, Maxwell explained the motivation behind his decision and what he hopes will be accomplished.
Maxwell added that he planned to continue kneeling during the anthem.
The A’s rookie was one of several people within baseball to react to Trump’s comments on Saturday. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was the most vocal, but Maxwell’s actions seemed to speak loudest.
— Covelli Crisp (@Coco_Crisp) September 24, 2017
Moments after the anthem’s conclusion, the A’s released a statement supporting Maxwell’s right to exercise freedom of expression.
President Trump also made news for publicly withdrawing the Golden State Warriors invitation to visit the White House after All-Star Steph Curry balked at attending. The A’s and Warriors’ homes may be separated by a parking lot, but they clearly united in spirit on Saturday.
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