Chris Archer Wants to Take a Knee During Anthem, But Can’t Because Teammates Don’t Like It
Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem on Friday night. Naturally, a lot of people are now wondering if he’s opened the flood gates.
On Sunday, Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer, one of 62 African-Americans in MLB on opening day, was asked point blank by USA Today if he’d like to join Maxwell and take a knee or perform some other kind of protest. His answer was that he agrees with Maxwell, and that ideally he would join him in protesting inequality. However, his teammates’ thoughts on the matter prevent him from actually doing it.
Here is Archer’s thoughtful statement in its entirety:
“From the feedback that I’ve gotten from my teammates, I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me, at this time. I agree with the message. I believe in equality.
“I don’t want to offend anybody. No matter how you explain it or justify it, some people just can’t get past the military element of it and it’s not something I want to do, is ruffle my teammates’ feathers on my personal views that have nothing to do with baseball.
“It did take a while in baseball, I think mainly because the other sports that do that are predominantly black. Our sport isn’t, so I think the criticism might be a little more harsh. It took somebody really special that had a unique background to take that leap.
“The way he went about it was totally, I think, as respectful as possible, just letting everybody know that this doesn’t have anything to do with the military, first and foremost, noting that he has family members that are in the military. It’s a little bit tougher for baseball players to make that leap, but I think he was the right person to do it.”
In case you missed it, here is Maxwell’s explanation for his protest:
Bruce Maxwell: pic.twitter.com/fRaVHf2gPs
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) September 24, 2017