The anti-American NFL anthem protests were a terribly divisive force.
Sadly, they even spread to other sports and professions.
But now the first MLB player to kneel for the anthem is singing a different tune.
Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt for the anthem last year, but says he will no longer do so in 2018.
From Sports Illustrated:
A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell won’t continue his peaceful protest this season, he announced Tuesday.
Maxwell kneeled for the anthem before Oakland’s game against the Rangers on Sept. 23, becoming the first MLB player to do so.
“Taking a knee during the national anthem last season was not a decision I made lightly,” Maxwell said in a statement. “As a member of a military family, I respect the sacrifices of the men and women who served and continue to serve our country. The purpose of the gesture was to raise awareness about social issues affecting our country, and while I’m looking forward to a society that is inclusive, empathetic and a welcoming place, I will not continue the symbolic gesture of taking a knee during our national anthem this season.”
Maxwell, who was born on an Army base in Germany and grew up in Alabama, played 76 games as a rookie last season.
Maxwell had a tumultuous 2017.
Shortly after his anthem protest, Maxwell claimed a pro-Trump waiter denied him service.
The restaurant employees vehemently refuted that charge, and quite frankly, their version of the story makes more sense.
From The New York Daily News:
The Alabama restaurant Bruce Maxwell said denied him service says the A’s catcher isn’t telling the truth.
Matt Henry, the waiter at the restaurant in Huntsville, Alabama, told Fox News that Maxwell is lying when he said a pro-Trump server refused to serve him.
“He is outright lying. This is really upsetting as he was given full service, I didn’t even know who Bruce Maxwell was,” Henry said. “This all started because I carded his friend who wanted to order a beer.”
Henry says Maxwell was dining with local councilman Devyn Keith and a third person who had an expired ID. The waiter says he denied serving a drink to the friend, leading to the man following him into the kitchen and asking if he knew who Maxwell was.
I didn’t know anything about him or the kneeling. All I know is a friend of mine 15 years ago lost his job for serving someone a drink who happened to be underage, so if anyone looks under 30, I’m going to card them,” Henry said.
The waiter said he was switched to another table after the councilman told the manager Maxwell was uncomfortable.
Ann Whalen, the manager of the restaurant, told Fox News Henry came to her about a guy wanting a beer but wasn’t providing a valid ID. She told her employee not to serve the man because in Alabama they could go to jail for doing so.
“It was his friend causing all the fuss, none of us even knew who this baseball player was. I told him I had no idea who he was going on about,” she said. “Eventually Matt just asked if we could put another server on the table so I did. … I can’t believe the story.”
Soon after the restaurant fiasco, Maxwell was arrested for threatening a pizza delivery driver with a gun.
More from The Daily News:
This week, Maxwell was back in the news again for all the wrong reasons.
He was arrested in Arizona on Saturday for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He allegedly pulled a gun on a food delivery driver at his home. According to the police report, Maxwell reeked of booze, he was angry and made “anti-police” comments when he was arrested. Lovely.
Now along comes Maxwell, the first MLB player to take a knee during the anthem, getting in trouble for something dumb and violent. If that’s not the epitome of being a jerk, we’d like to know what is.
Hey Bruce, one question: when the police were arresting you for putting a gun in a woman’s face, were they polite and courteous?
After Maxwell’s volatile rookie season on and off the field, it’s probably for the best that he recede from the spotlight and focus on himself and his career.
Being a social justice icon didn’t suit him well.