Donald Trump is already feuding with the NFL and its protesting players and the NBA and its players’ desire not to visit him in the White House (and that’s just been in the last three days). Now, the first Major League Baseball player has dropped to his knee during the national anthem.
His name is Bruce Maxwell, and he’s the Oakland Athletics catcher. And this is what he did on Saturday.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 24, 2017
— Santiago Mejia (@SantiagoMejia) September 24, 2017
And it’s not as if Maxwell is a long-time MLB veteran who’s been in the spotlight for years. He’s a rookie, and his father is a military veteran.
Before he made his protest, this is what Maxwell tweeted.
Afterward Maxwell said he wasn’t disrespecting the military, the constitution, or the country.
“My hand was over my heart because I love this country and I have family members, including my father, who bled for this country, and who continue to serve,” he said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “At the end of the day, this is the best country on the planet. I am and forever will be an American citizen and grateful to be here, but my kneeling is what’s getting the attention, and I’m kneeling for the people who don’t have a voice.
“This goes beyond the black and Hispanic communities because right now we have a racial divide that’s being practiced from the highest power we have in this country saying it’s basically OK to treat people differently. I’m kneeling for a cause but I’m in no way disrespecting my country or my flag.”
Then, Maxwell checked his phone to find plenty of hurtful messages.
“I get nasty DMs and everything, but that also shows what’s wrong with this country,” Maxwell said. “People think athletes should shut up and get their money and play their sport, but no matter how much money we make, no matter how many touchdowns we score, no many how many home runs we hit, it doesn’t mean we aren’t people. Our paychecks don’t silence us.”