MLB's only anthem kneeler reveals his plans for 2018 season
Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first and only MLB player to kneel during the national anthem last season when he took a knee Sept. 23, 2017, against the Texas Rangers.
From the @sfchronicle’s Santiago Mejia, here is A’s rookie Bruce Maxwell becoming the first MLB player to take a knee for the anthem: pic.twitter.com/q8QVY9hW15
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 24, 2017
Maxwell, who was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, as the son of a U.S. Army veteran, decided to take a knee after President Donald Trump called out NFL players for kneeling during the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out, he’s fired’?” Trump said during a speech Sept. 22.
“Don’t be surprised if you start seeing athletes kneeling in other sports now!!” Maxwell tweeted the next day, before doing so himself.
But now it seems the 27-year-old catcher has changed his mind.
Maxwell announced Tuesday he won’t continue the protest this season.
Statement from Bruce Maxwell on his decision to no longer kneel during the national anthem: pic.twitter.com/GTGMHNvRQn
— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) February 13, 2018
“The purpose of the gesture was to raise awareness about social issues affecting our country, and while I’m looking forward to a society that is inclusive, empathetic and a welcoming place, I will not continue the symbolic gesture of taking a knee during our National Anthem this season,” his statement read in part.
Maxwell, who reported along with the other A’s pitchers and catchers to Mesa, Arizona, for spring training Tuesday, is still in legal trouble following an incident Oct. 28 where he allegedly pointed a gun at a female food-delivery person at his house in Scottsdale, Arizona.
According to police accounts, Maxwell appeared to be “intoxicated and made anti-police comments.”
Maxwell was arrested and booked on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, as well as disorderly conduct.
He made headlines once more during the offseason when he claimed a waiter in Alabama refused to serve him because of his anthem protests.
The waiter disputed the account, saying the only issue he had with Maxwell and his party was that a couple of them had expired or invalid IDs, so when they tried to order alcoholic beverages, some of them were denied.
On Monday, Maxwell was unable to reach a plea agreement in his incident with the food-delivery person.
A second hearing was set for 9 a.m. April 13; Oakland is scheduled to play in Seattle that evening.
Maxwell’s case will go to trial Aug. 9 if a plea agreement can’t be reached.
Depending on the outcome, he could face disciplinary action from MLB.
Maxwell hit just .237 in 76 games with the Athletics last season.
The backstop is projected to be the team’s starting catcher this season with Josh Phegley as the backup.
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