Former Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell blasted Major League Baseball for its slow response to the police-involved death of George Floyd.
Maxwell made major headlines as the very first person in Major League Baseball to kneel during the national anthem in 2017 following Colin Kaepernick’s protest in the NFL, said on the “A’s Plus” podcast that he isn’t surprised that it was the last league to make a statement in regards to Floyd’s death.
“Knock me if you want, but I think MLB finally came out and said something because so many people were hounding them to say something,” Maxwell said on The Chronicle’s “A’s Plus” podcast Wednesday, running through the list of other sports that had condemned racism in the past week. “It doesn’t shock me they were the last sport to say something. When I did my thing, my team supported me at the time, but MLB didn’t really back me.”
“The reality that the Black community lives in fear or anxiety over racial discrimination, prejudice or violence is unacceptable,” the statement continued.
He also wanted to know where his support was when he protested racism back in 2017.
“The difference now is everyone is hopping on board, the athletes, the people supporting how Colin Kaepernick did his thing, some people are supporting how I did my thing,” Maxwell said. “We did it in a peaceful manner and the purpose is now being seen as genuine, a legitimate problem in America.
“But where was this three years ago? Where was this when Kaepernick lost his career and still kept pushing? Where were these people when I took a knee? … Where was this support when I was pushed out of MLB and it was made to seem it was because I was arrested and what I was arrested for wasn’t even illegal?”
Maxwell told NBC Sports earlier this month that he is still criticized for the stand he took back in 2017.
“I still have the messages,” he says. “I had a kid the other day come out on my team and just said, ‘Eff you,’ on my Instagram. He was like, ‘People like you are the problem that we have in this country.’ I had a guy reach out to me last year … in the middle of my season, down here in Mexico, that told me that he hopes me and my family die a horrible death. … Three years and I still get it. It’s the hate. It’s the hate.”
Maxwell now plays in the Mexican League and hasn’t played an MLB game since 2018.