Taking a cue from former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell took a knee tonight during the National Anthem before the start of their baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Oakland, California. Maxwell has become the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem.
The moment comes after a day of sports vs. politics controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s tweets about kneeling during the National Anthem and the Golden State Warriors’ non-visit to the White House. That said, the Bay Area is becoming the epicenter for sports-related activism.
In the hours leading up to the game, Maxwell was very vocal about his feelings about Trump’s criticism of NFL players kneeling to protest and hinted that he would also kneel during the anthem.
Earlier in the day, the Oakland A’s tweeted “We respect and support all of our player’s constitutional rights and freedom of expression,” which might have also been a hint that Maxwell was going to take a knee at tonight’s game.
Maxwell comes from a military family and the picture shows his teammate Mark Canha placing his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder in support.