OAKLAND, Calif. — Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics has become the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem.
Maxwell dropped to a knee just outside Oakland’s dugout on Saturday, adopting a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to police treatment of blacks. Maxwell’s teammates stood in a line next to him. Teammate Mark Canha, who is white, put his right hand on one of Maxwell’s shoulders.
The Athletics released a statement on Twitter shortly after the anthem, saying they “respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”
— Oakland A's 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) September 24, 2017
Maxwell’s protest comes after President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes.