Ahead of Saturday’s game, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell joined NFL players in protest and became the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem.
Maxwell, 26, is a rookie catcher who hails from a military family, and has been described as “highly patriotic” by theSan Francisco Chronicle. He was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, where his father was stationed in the army. He is African-American and chose to kneel in solidarity with NFL players after president Donald Trump called for the ‘firing’ of players who have chosen to peacefully protest.
He has been outspoken on social media regarding political issues but has also been open in discussing what America means to him, giving the following quote ahead of a minor league game on the Fourth of July.
“It means a little bit more to me,” Maxwell said. “I take it a little more personal. It’s closer to my heart than most holidays and so it’s just about a respect of guys that give their lives every day and their families that feel the repercussions of what they do over there, even in the States. It’s a big thing for me and it’s an honor to play on this day.”
Maxwell has accrued 104 games of Major League service over the last two seasons and has a career line of .256/.337/.364 with four home runs and 35 RBIs. He was drafted in the second round in 2012 out of Birmingham-Southern College.