Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell is claiming that a waiter in his Alabama hometown refused him service after recognizing him as the MLB player who took a knee during “The Star Spangled Banner” last month.
“He was like, ‘You’re the guy that took the knee?’ He goes, ‘I voted for Trump and I stand for everything he stands for,” Maxwell revealed during an interview with TMZ Sports.
According to Maxwell — who became the first and only MLB player to kneel during a performance of the national anthem at a Sept. 23 game against the Texas Rangers — he and a local councilman were meeting for lunch at a Huntsville restaurant when the incident occurred.
After their brief exchange with the waiter, Maxwell said his friend got the attention of the restaurant’s manager, who responded by putting another waiter on their table.
Maxwell also told TMZ he felt he was racially profiled by the waiter, and said that the councilman, who is a high-school friend of his, is African American.
“That’s where I’m from,” added Maxwell, who is the son of a U.S. Army veteran. “Unless you’re subjected to it, you won’t understand it, you won’t feel it. But it’s like, I’m 26 years old, I’m very respectful, I’m very educated. And it still happens to this day. And so … that’s the reason I kneel.”
After Maxwell took a knee on Sept. 23, the Oakland A’s franchise responded by saying the franchise will “respect and support all of our players' constitutional rights and freedom of expression."
In his interview with TMZ Sports, Maxwell also said he has been in regular contact with supportive members of both the MLB and NFL. He claims he also exchanged phone numbers with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last week filed a collusion grievance against the National Football League, accusing the owners of NFL teams of conspiring against him for kneeling during the national anthem.
“We can link up and we can gel and mesh everything together, that way we’re all pushing the same purpose and the same message around the whole country," Maxwell said.
Yahoo Sports also noted that since the end of the Oakland A’s season, Maxwell has volunteered at a Sonoma County food bank supplying meals to wildfire evacuees.