As the movement of taking a knee during the traditional playing of The Star-Spangled Banner prior to the start of football games extends into a second season with even President Trump exercising his First Amendment right to express his opinion about the protests, it appears kneeling has spread to baseball.

The seeds are virtually set in the MLB for divisional play with Wild Card berths at stake for a few more teams, but attention was diverted from the diamond to the dugout as Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics took a knee during the anthem.

The move was begun last year by then-quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, as a way of protesting what he sees as the oppression of minorities.

Maxwell, a 26-year-old catcher with the A’s was joined by his teammates who stood next to him in a show of support, as Mark Canha, who is white, placed his right hand on Maxwell’s shoulder.

The two players hugged as the anthem concluded.

Maxwell later said, “Everybody watches sports and so everybody loves sports, so I felt this was the right thing for me to do personally.”

The move came as NFL players reacted to President Trump’s advice to fans to get up and walk out if players on their teams opted to take a knee instead of standing for the anthem, predicting the protests would soon be stopped by the owners when they saw empty seats in the stadium.

Calling the refusal to stand “disrespectful” to the nation and the men and women of the armed forces who serve, the president suggested owners borrow his catchphrase used on his hit reality television show – “You’re fired!”

Just before Maxwell’s protest, the A’s tweeted that they “respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

The league backed up the decision, releasing a statement reading, “Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions.”

Divisional play begins on October 5.

Are you concerned that the protests by NFL players during the national anthem will continue to spread to other major sports, as it appears to be doing with major league baseball?

Source: Weasel Zippers

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