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Oakland A’s Bruce Maxwell becomes first MLB player to kneel during national anthem

Photo: Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle

Amid the president’s attacks on NFL players, Major League Baseball gets its first national anthem protest.

Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland A’s knelt during the national anthem Saturday night.

Maxwell’s decision to protest may have been a direct response to 45’s continued and most recent attack on American citizens and athletes.

At a rally in Alabama, 45 called NFL players who peacefully protested oppression, injustice and inequality in the U.S., “sons of bitches” and said the NFL should take them off of the field.

He then went to Twitter and uninvited Stephen Curry to the White House–after Curry publicly stated he didn’t want to go.

45’s recent actions have sparked outrage and inspired acts of solidarity with NFL players, Curry and the national anthem protest.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle quoted Maxwell on his reason for kneeling.

“The point of my kneeling was not to disrespect our military or our constitution or our country,” Maxwell said. At the end of the day, this is the best country on the planet. I am and forever will be an American citizen and grateful to be here, but my kneeling is what’s getting the attention, and I’m kneeling for the people who don’t have a voice.

Here is Maxwell after the game further explaining his position.

national anthem protests began when ex-San Francisco 49er QB Colin Kaepernick sat for the national anthem during a preseason game last year to bring awareness to police brutality and systematic oppression against minorities. Kaepernick then began kneeling during the national anthem for the remainder of the season.

Kaepernick’s protest picked up support as well as criticism and has grown over the last year. However, the quarterback remains an unsigned free agent.

Baseball is perhaps the American sport based on the most tradition so it’s hard to say if protests in MLB will continue. But it only takes one courageous person to inspire others, and we may see Maxwell’s action pick up steam.

 

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