Former Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell reportedly called out Major League Baseball for how long it took the league to make a comment about the protests that have broken out all over the country. According to an article on Wednesday from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Maxwell laid out why he’s both disappointed and not remotely surprised by how long it took MLB to say anything at all in an episode of the A’s Plus podcast
The protests in Oakland and other parts of the country started after Minneapolis man George Floyd died while in police custody. Many of the people out protesting said Floyd’s death was just the latest in a pattern of police brutality. The supposed poor treatment by law enforcement of people of color was also the reason why Maxwell protested in his own way when he still played with the A’s.
In 2017, Maxwell became the first player in Major League Baseball to take a knee during the national anthem. He staged his protest about a year after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the practice in the National Football Leauge. Similar to Kaepernick’s inability to get a job in the NFL after his protest gained traction, Maxwell’s American baseball career apparently came to an end just one year later.
On Wednesday, Maxwell told the podcast he thought the only reason MLB made a statement about Floyd’s death is because so many other organizations did so first.
“Knock me if you want, but I think MLB finally came out and said something because so many people were hounding them to say something. It doesn’t shock me they were the last sport to say something. When I did my thing, my team supported me at the time, but MLB didn’t really back me.”
Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area reported earlier this week that Maxwell still gets hate mail for his taking a knee during the anthem.
The catcher played in a Mexican baseball league in 2019 and he said there are people even down there who hound him over what happened three years ago. Maxwell relayed a story about a teenager who went and found the player’s Instagram just to tell him the catcher is “what’s wrong with America.” He also told a story about a man who came and found him in the middle of his season last year who threatened to kill Maxwell’s entire family.
Despite the hate, the player is still trying to have a career in baseball. With Acereros de Monclova in 2019, he hit.325 with 24 home runs and made the Mexican League’s All-Star team. A return to the MLB still appears to be a long shot, according to most analysts, considering he hit just.240 with eight home runs in three seasons with the Athletics.