Bruce Maxwell kneeling during National Anthem (John Hefti - USA Today Sports)
Bruce Maxwell kneeling during National Anthem (John Hefti - USA Today Sports)

Cubs respond to MLB player kneeling in protest

by - Senior Editor -

Oakland A's catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major-leaguer to protest during the National Anthem by taking a knee during Sunday's game against the Texas Rangers.

“The point of my kneeling was not to disrespect our military or our constitution or our country,” Maxwell said. “My hand was over my heart because I love this country and I have family members, including my father, who bled for this country, and who continue to serve. At the end of the day, this is the best country on the planet. I am and forever will be an American citizen and grateful to be here, but my kneeling is what’s getting the attention, and I’m kneeling for the people who don’t have a voice."

"The Oakland A's pride ourselves on being inclusive," the team said in a statement. "We respect and support all of our players' constitutional rights and freedom of expression."

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein sent a text to the Chicago Sun-Times on his opinion on the controversial matter.

‘‘Like our country, our team is a collection of individuals with different backgrounds and beliefs,’’ Epstein said via text, ‘‘and it is better for its diversity. I support our players’ rights to express their opinions in any peaceful and respectful manner they choose.’’

Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn't have any set rule for the National Anthem and players can be in the clubhouse or other places.

‘‘If [a player] does, that’s fine,’’ he said. ‘‘I have no issues. I’m all into self-expression. If a player feels he needs to express himself in that matter, then so be it.’’

Most of the Cubs players were interviewed on the topic and respect what Maxwell is doing but want to stay away from the issue.

It will be interesting to see if the kneel protests that are going on in the NFL continue to spread to the major leagues.

Major League Baseball released a statement on the subject over the weekend.

"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. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together."

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