Over the weekend, Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to take a knee during the National Anthem. Unsurprisingly, the decision has attracted a lot of controversy. While many may not support Maxwell’s protest, he can take solace in knowing he still has the support from one fan: his dad, army veteran Bruce Maxwell Jr.
In an interview, Maxwell Jr. said the fact that his son was willing to take a knee in protest does not show bravery. Rather, it shows that he cares enough about society to take action. Maxwell Jr. also spoke about the way he raised his son to stand up (or, in this case, kneel down) for what he believes in.
“If I’m trying to raise my child to be a productive citizen, then everything he’s doing is normal to me,” Maxwell Jr. said. “That tells me that I did my job as a dad because he cares about society. And although he’s the one percent who made it in the world of baseball, he’s willing to sacrifice himself. You wanna talk about a proud dad? I’m proud, buddy.”
Maxwell Jr. served six years in the Army and was stationed in Germany in 1990 when his son was born. Maxwell, who is African American, says that he and his sister experienced constant discrimination growing up in Alabama. Since taking a knee, Maxwell Jr. stated that his son has received death threats from unruly fans. The younger Maxwell told reporters that fans have sent him racial slurs and some have wished him injury so that he can’t play anymore. Maxwell has said that he plans to continue kneeling during the National Anthem for the foreseeable future.