Oakland A's

‘We need some change’: First MLB anthem protest sparks reaction

A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell kneels while the national anthem is played Sunday in Oakland. Teammate Mark Canha (20) says he supports Maxwell’s decision.
A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell kneels while the national anthem is played Sunday in Oakland. Teammate Mark Canha (20) says he supports Maxwell’s decision. The Associated Press

There have been a number of NFL players and teams putting on a silent protest while the national anthem plays, an action started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year.

On Saturday, A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first player in Major League Baseball to join in.

“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!” Maxwell tweeted Saturday.

Maxwell, 26, took a knee again Sunday as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played before Oakland’s game against the visiting Texas Rangers.

Maxwell, who held his hat over his heart both days, received support from teammate Mark Canha, who placed his hand on Maxwell’s right shoulder during the anthem.

“I had to think about what I was going to do to show my support for Bruce, for 20 minutes, and even then I was hesitant to do it,” Canha told The Associated Press on Sunday. “Even then I was like, you know that fear of, I thought about Colin Kaepernick, well jeez – I love baseball, I want to play baseball, I love my job and love this country, I want to be part of this country, but to live in fear.

“Just the fact that I had that small amount of fear and that small amount of hesitation, speaks volumes about that we need some change.”

Maxwell received support and criticism on social media:

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