Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem over the weekend and has since fielded threats and racial slurs.
“I expected it. It’s nothing different from what I dealt with in my life. The threats I get are part of the problem,” Maxwell said (via SFChronicle.com). “What I’m doing is peaceful. What I’m doing is for a meaning. People who throw hate my way are people who also don’t understand there’s a problem, and they choose not to understand. That’s fine with me.”
Bruce Maxwell was born on a military base in Germany where his father, a lifelong Army man, was serving. Tonight, he took a knee. pic.twitter.com/7UODdR3dIY
— Matt Viser (@mviser) September 24, 2017
Maxwell, an African American who grew up in a military family, said “keyboard warriors” have wished him injury and suspension for his protest. His decision to kneel comes on the heels of Donald Trump calling NFL players who peacefully protest during the national anthem "son of a b—" who should be fired.
“The whole point of this is to inform people there is a problem,” Maxwell said. “If people are going to join me and kneel on the baseball field, I want them to do so freely. I don’t push them to do it. It’s up to them. It’s a personal choice, just like the personal choice I took to take a knee.”
A's outfielder Mark Canha has vowed to stand beside Maxwell and place a hand on his shoulder when he kneels, saying he doesn't "want to leave my brother on the island by himself.”