In 2017, Bruce Maxwell became the only MLB player to kneel during the national anthem. It was a decision that was widely dismissed around the league and Maxwell believes that it was the reason he was forced out of the MLB after just three seasons.
"I got pushed out of the game because I took a knee during the national anthem," Maxwell told ESPN. "It eats at me. I find a way to still get my work done, but it still eats at me. Everyone talks about veteran leadership, but where were they? Chris Archer deflected every question. Didn’t even want to make the BLM video. No time for that dude. Andrew McCutchen? Where was everybody? How do you let a guy with one year of service time out-lead you? I didn’t do this for the clout. I did this because of what’s happening in this country and because we play in the whitest sport. We play in the most racist sport. There should be more of us out there."
With racial inequality and the Black Lives Matter movement shaping the national discourse, the MLB has been much more open to discussing racism. And while some players have reached out to Maxwell to apologize and the Oakland A's even offered to bring him back, the catcher is still "bitter" about the way he was ostracized for speaking out against racism.
"The season’s gonna resume," Maxwell said. "They’re going to get more fame because it’s going to look like they’re standing up for what’s right. They’re making T-shirts and they’re showing they care, but they don’t go back to the original sacrificed person. Where was all of this then? It’s easy to talk because everyone’s talking. I was out there by myself. I’m bitter as f--k, and I’m not hiding it."
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