Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell confirmed he plans to continue kneeling during the national anthem after becoming the first MLB player to do so prior to Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers.
Maxwell explained his decision to carry the protest on with Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan:
"I'm going to continue to do it. This isn't a one-day thing. If things really don't change, I'll roll into it next season. This is an ongoing issue. This is happening across the country. It might take a few more people. It might take a little while. Racism has been going on since this country was founded. But stepping up and recognizing the fact that people in this country are being treated unjustly is a big problem when it comes to mankind, and I’m pretty sure people who died for this country fought so I could do this."
After the A's beat the Rangers 1-0 on Saturday, Maxwell said he was "kneeling for the people that don't have a voice," per MLB.com's Jane Lee:
Passan noted Maxwell's father served in the military and that Maxwell was born on an American military base.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting during the national anthem last season to raise awareness about police brutality and racial injustice. The protests gained traction throughout the NFL, and President Donald Trump brought more attention to the cause through comments he made last week at a rally and on social media.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired. He's fired!'" Trump said to supporters in Alabama on Friday.
Trump echoed the sentiment on Twitter a day later:
According to NPR's Doreen McCallister, about 200 NFL players engaged in some form of protest during Sunday's games. Some teams opted against walking onto the field altogether for the national anthem.