Oakland Athletics’ Bruce Maxwell Was Right to Take a Knee

Oakland Athletics’ Bruce Maxwell plays against the Kansas City Royals Sept. 2016 / John Sleezer / MCTCampus

On Friday, Sept. 22 President Donald Trump made it clear to NFL players that he disliked anyone who doesn’t stand for the National Anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out! He’s fired! He’s fired!,” said President Trump during a rally for Alabama Republican Luther Strange.

The next day, Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to take a knee during the national anthem. Maxwell among, other athletes, should be able to express themselves on and off the field. They have rights and should use them to protect themselves against any verbal or direct attacks made on them.

As President of the United States, Donald Trump completely crossed the line. Athletes have every right to express their displeasure with Trump, because if that were me, I wouldn’t want to let any verbal attack against me slip away that easily.

Not only did his comments spark a backlash from NFL players, it also brought them together in unison and created a stronger trend as it translated to the MLB. Instead of Trump worrying about what happens in sports, I believe he should show some decency and make a greater effort to aid people from Mexico and Puerto Rico countries that need the attention right now.

One day after Trump’s comments, Maxwell, catcher for the Oakland Athletics, took the initiative as if to say enough is enough in what must have been a heartfelt moment for him. I think he knelt for the people who are afraid to express their opinions because of the backlash they might receive. Maxwell’s actions speak great measures for himself and others who appreciate what he has done.

Before his decision, Maxwell created an immediate impact through Twitter, hinting that he would be next to take a stand, tweeting the following statement: “Don’t be surprised if you start seeing athletes kneeling in other sports now!! Comments like that coming from our president. WOW!”

Whatever Maxwell was thinking in that moment is beyond anyone’s guess, but he deserves a lot of credit for expressing his stance. I strongly believe that Maxwell’s kneeling was not intended to disrespect the country or the American flag, because Maxwell held his hand over his heart while taking a knee. I saw it as a form of symbolism for a cause, speaking for America.

The inequality of people is being discussed and practiced by President Trump. the indifference of humans and the only way that us as a nation can come together is to try and inform everybody about the problems Trump has created.

Anyone who was affected by Trump’s comments may have just kept it to themselves, but Maxwell did not as he courageously expressed his rights as an American. “ The only platform that seems to be getting attention is athletes kneeling, so I’m doing my part in baseball.” Maxwell said in an interview. He’s doing his part for the MLB and serving justice for an unjust president who most of the time seems to be talking complete nonsense.

Again, this is the United States of America and anyone who breathes air in this country is entitled to say whatever they want, because it is a right given to citizens by the Constitution in the First Amendment.

Respectfully, Maxwell has only played in 105 career games and as a 26 year old with little Major League service he had a lot to lose. He choose to kneel anyway and that is being principled and brave.

The Oakland Athletics came to the support of Maxwell and his teammates and openly supported his stance. “ He’s very courageous, I respect his decision, he’s just exercising his rights as an American,” said Athletics outfielder Khris Davis in an interview

“Every fiber in my being was telling me he needed a brother today”. Said Athletics outfielder Mark Canha. Who expressed his feelings towards Maxwell’s actions.

The team issued a statement on Twitter regarding Maxwell saying, “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive. We respect and support all our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

This is the beauty of having a caring and genuine organization with teammates that support you and your decisions no matter what problems you may have, because in the end they will support and respect you and your beliefs.

Over the last year, numerous players and athletes have followed the Colin Kaepernick anthem protest, sparking a trend that allowed Maxwell to become the first ever to do so on an MLB field.

MLB issued a statement as well regarding Maxwell’s decision to kneel and it reads as followed:“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.”

Everyone has their own take on how they view the world and may express themselves; however, as a nation we must take our own personal thoughts and opinions and try to keep them as far away from President Trump as possible so we can stop feeding him our thoughtful expressions and not allow him to verbally attack us and further spread hatred across the world. That is not how a president should go out and present himself to the media.

President Trump’s harsh choice of words began this growing epidemic of anthem protests, and it looks like it will continue as the MLB, NBA and NFL are lashing out on Trump through social media on how they feel about the occurring situation.

In the end, Maxwell did what was right for him. Not only did he create solidarity, he created an environment where MLB players can feel comfortable kneeling if they please.

Ultimately though I feel that this comes down to Donald Trump’s high egotistical mind and his immaturity with the way he estranges himself from others, I believe that there should absolutely be no place for it in our nation.

Trump is the leader of our country and the way he chooses to conduct himself in such a horrendous manner is beyond anyone else’s beliefs. This is about one man who continues to progress a lack of decency, and most importantly, of all respect to the public eye.

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Jordy Espinoza

Staff Writer at el Don
Jordy Espinoza is a sophomore majoring in communication and media studies. He is an aspiring sports broadcaster and writer. He also enjoys fitness and is a dedicated 24 Hour fitness gym member.
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