Bruce Maxwell, the Oakland Athletics’ backup catcher, said he’ll stand for the national anthem in 2018 after being the first player in Major League Baseball to kneel during the anthem in protest social injustices.
Maxwell reported to A’s camp on Tuesday after a tumultous offseason that included an arrest on assault charges after he pulled a gun on a delivery driver and a he-said-he-said dispute about a waiter in his native Alabama who supposedly wouldn’t serve him because of his protest.
Now, Maxwell, a 26-year-old rookie last season, is changing course on his social protest. Here’s his statement on the matter, via Julian McWilliams of The Athletic:
Bruce Maxwell’s full statement on national anthem: pic.twitter.com/Slw4hzwIxT
— Julian McWilliams (@JulianMack105) February 13, 2018
Maxwell started to protest after these types of gestures had already taken footing in the NFL. The reaction in baseball wasn’t any different than it was in football — divisive and controversial — but Maxwell made it clear at the time that he was from a military family, so he had the utmost respect for the military and the U.S. flag. When he took a knee, he also put his hand over his heart and looked at the flag.
A few days later, Maxwell was arrested on charges of aggreviated assault after allegedly pointing a gun at a female delivery driver in Arizona. Maxwell had hoped that his legal issues would be resolved in time for spring training, but no plea agreement was reached Monday at a settlement conference. He’s due back in court on the assault charge April 13, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
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