Oakland A's catcher Bruce Maxwell, the only Major League Baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem, told TMZ Sports he was denied service by a pro-Trump waiter at a restaurant in his hometown of Harvest, Alabama.
How it happened
Maxwell told his side of the story in a video published on TMZ Sports.
“I got racially profiled in my hometown, the day I got home. I wasn’t even home four hours and I got denied service at lunch with a city councilman, who is also African-American and a guy I went to high school with, because the dude recognized me as the guy that took a knee and he voted for Trump and was at that Trump rally in Huntsville, Alabama. So he denied us service at lunch, and they had to go get us another waiter to wait on our table in that same restaurant."
“He was like ‘Oh, yeah, you’re that guy huh? You’re the guy who took the knee? I voted for Trump and I stand for everything he stands for.’”
"Our councilman went and got the manager and had some words with him, and they went and got us another person to serve our table."
"That’s where I'm from. Unless you’re subject to it, you won’t understand it and you won’t feel it. I’m 26 years old, I’m very respectful, I’m very educated, but it still happens to this day. So that’s the reason why I’m kneeling. Stuff like that. It’s crazy to talk about it, but it’s real."
Maxwell first kneeled in protest of police brutality against African-Americans before a Sept. 24 game against the Texas Rangers.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Maxwell talked to the team about it beforehand to gain their support.
“He was as articulate as I’ve seen him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “This wasn’t an emotional thing just today for him. Something had been leading up to it, and he felt today would be the right platform to do it.”
Inspired by Kaepernick
Maxwell said he has become friends with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a result of his protest, and that he's gotten support from players and coaches in multiple sports.
"[Kaepernick] is so positive," Maxwell said. "He's such a strong, level-headed individual.
"His friendship definitely helps. His guidance comes through that. And just being able to use him as a sounding board some days does me some good."