Bruce Maxwell was the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem but won’t continue the protest.
A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell won’t continue his peaceful protest this season, he announced Tuesday.
Maxwell kneeled for the anthem before Oakland’s game against the Rangers on Sept. 23, becoming the first MLB player to do so.
“Taking a knee during the national anthem last season was not a decision I made lightly,” Maxwell said in a statement. “As a member of a military family, I respect the sacrifices of the men and women who served and continue to serve our country. 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.”
Maxwell’s initial protest came after President Donald Trump’s comments referring to NFL players who protest during the anthem as “sons of b----es.”
Maxwell, who was born on an Army base in Germany and grew up in Alabama, played 76 as a rookie last season. He’s one of three catchers on the Oakland roster as they open spring training, along with Josh Phegley and Dustin Garneau.