Mere moments after Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the MLB’s first player to take a knee during the national anthem, the team tweeted out a statement declaring their support for his actions.
— Oakland A's 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) September 24, 2017
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With his decision to kneel on Saturday night, Maxwell had officially become the first Major League Baseball player join in on the protest of the national anthem, acting in solidarity with the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick and those who have chosen to support him.
Tonight, Oakland A's Bruce Maxwell has become the first MLB player to take a knee during the national anthem. ✊️
📷: SF Chronicle pic.twitter.com/lElsKjZ7YD
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) September 24, 2017
Despite Maxwell being the only player to take a knee, teammate Mark Canh can be seen in the photo with his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder in a show of support.
Maxwell, the son of a U.S. soldier, was born on a military base in Germany. His decision to kneel was not entirely unexpected; Maxwell had previously taken to Twitter to denounce the President.
This now has gone from just a BlackLives Matter topic to just complete inequality of any man or woman that wants to stand for Their rights!
— Bruce T Maxwell (@bruu_truu13) September 23, 2017
The controversy began during Trump’s rally in Alabama on Friday, where he was supposed to be campaigning for Republican candidate Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Republican Senate primary runoff. During a rambling stream of consciousness, the President’s attention instead turned to the issue of NFL players kneeling.
On Saturday morning, Trump set his sight on the NBA. Responding to all-star guard Stephen Curry, who spoke out in no uncertain terms about his unwillingness to visit the White House, the President “rescinded” his invitation. Of course, rescinding an invitation after its been denied hardly has the devastating effect Trump was hoping for.
Stephen Curry doesn't hold back on whether he'll vote to visit White House. pic.twitter.com/n2PBAtYQdA
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 22, 2017
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
Trump’s wholly inappropriate and divisive remarks – both regarding the NFL protest of kneeling during the national anthem and launching a targeted attack on Steph Curry on Twitter – were met with a barrage of criticism from professional athletes, coaches, league officials, and fans.
The incident even sparked a movement in which potentially hundreds more players have decided to take a knee during the National Anthem in solidarity with their fellow league-mates on Sunday.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 24, 2017
Whereas kneeling during the national anthem could have been a death knell to one’s career in professional sports before Trump, the President’s divisive rhetoric has now unified the sports world – from the ownership down to the rookies – in opposition to him and his draconian agenda.