Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the pregame playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" when he dropped to a knee prior to Oakland's game against the Texas Rangers Saturday night. 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." Maxwell's protest comes after President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen
Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister left the team on Saturday morning to be with his ill mother. Banister's mother, Verda, lives in Clear Lake, Texas. Bench coach Steve Buechele will manage the last two games of the Rangers' series against the Oakland Athletics. The Rangers were on the fringe of the American League wild-card race, going into Saturday, as they trailed the Minnesota Twins by 3 1/2 games for the second wild-card spot. "The circumstances of this are terrible, but family first,'' Buechele said. Buechele learned about Banister's situation on Friday night but said he didn't know Banister would be flying back to Texas until Saturday morning. "I don't
BALTIMORE — Chris Archer says he agrees with Bruce Maxwell's message of equality, lauding the Oakland Athletics catcher's well-conceived protest and explanation. And in becoming the first major league player to kneel for the national anthem in protest of systemic injustices, Maxwell exposed himself to a level of scorn among peers that every other player has been unwilling to take on. Archer readily admits as much himself. The Tampa Bay Rays pitcher, one of just 62 African Americans on opening-day rosters this season, has taken the temperature of his teammates, and Major League Baseball, and knows what Maxwell likely faced in telling teammates of his protest — and what he'll face going forward.