Maxwell becomes first MLB player to join US anthem protest

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Oakland Athletics' catcher Bruce Maxwell on Saturday took a knee during the playing of the national anthem, marking the first time a Major League Baseball player has performed such an act.

The Athletics released a statement on Twitter shortly after the anthem, saying they "respect and support all of our players' constitutional rights and freedom of expression" and "pride ourselves on being inclusive".

Maxwell was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, while his father was stationed there in the Army. He echoed these sentiments at a rally for Sen. Maxwell was out of the lineup and was scheduled to undergo concussion protocol tests on Saturday, Melvin said.

"This goes beyond the black community, it goes beyond the Hispanic community, because right now we're having ... a racial divide in all types of people", said Maxwell, who is African American.

Maxwell's agent, Matt Sosnick, reiterated that Maxwell's decision to kneel was not meant as a show of disrespect to the military or American values.

He did so in a pregame meeting Saturday that made for a degree of discomfort in the room, but also seemed to have played out in a healthy way.

Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cedric Hunter and Emmanuel Burriss, (l-r) of the Philadelphia Phillies line up for the national anthem before an MLB game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on April 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And, it's something he plans to continue to do.

The point of my kneeling was not to disrespect our military or our constitution or our country.

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump's response to a number of professional athletes' totally peaceful, non-violent protests. That said, the Bay Area is becoming the epicenter for sports-related activism. It's closer to my heart than most holidays and so it's just about a respect of guys that give their lives every day and their families that feel the repercussions of what they do over there, even in the States. UP NEXT Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (12-11, 4.70 ERA) is 7-1 with a 3.14 ERA in his last night starts and 6-6 with a 5.03 ERA in 14 starts against Oakland.