A’s rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell, who earlier in the day profanely bashed President Trump on Instagram, became the first major-league player to kneel during the national anthem on Saturday before Oakland’s 1-0 win at the Coliseum.
“My decision had been coming for a long time,” Maxwell said, citing his own experiences with racism while growing up in Huntsville, Ala., which is where Trump on Friday made disparaging comments about NFL players who choose to kneel for the anthem. “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 plans to continue kneeling for the anthem.
“He’s very courageous,” said A’s outfielder Khris Davis, who hit his 40th homer Saturday. “I respect his decision, he’s just exercising his rights as an American.”
“The point of my kneeling was not to disrespect our military or our constitution or our country,” Maxwell said. “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. 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.
Mark Canha, who is from San Jose and went to Cal, placed his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder. After the anthem, the teammates hugged.