On Saturday night, before the Oakland A’s played, catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball (MLB) player to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem, the Hill reported.
— Santiago Mejia (@SantiagoMejia) September 24, 2017
Later, rather than chastise or discipline Maxwell for protesting, the team tweeted its support via the A’s official Twitter account.
“The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the message read. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”
— Oakland A's 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) September 24, 2017
Maxwell — who was born to a military family on an Army base in Germany — joined the ranks of U.S. athletes who are protesting the national anthem and President Donald Trump’s attacks on players who protest by taking a knee rather than standing as the anthem plays.
Players object to the anthem due to its controversial third verse, which contains references to tracking down and executing runaway slaves.