Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel for the national anthem over the weekend. Maxwell, whose father served in the Army, explained that his demonstration had nothing to do with disrespecting the military:
On Sunday, Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer, one of 62 African-American players on an opening-day roster this season, was asked if he had considered joining Maxwell in protest. Archer’s answer was a reminder of the difficulties black players face in their own locker rooms (via USA Today):
“From the feedback that I’ve gotten from my teammates, I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me, at this time,” Archer said Sunday after he and the Rays suffered a 9-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. “I agree with the message. I believe in equality.
“It did take a while in baseball, I think mainly because the other sports that do that are predominantly black,” says Archer. “Our sport isn’t, so I think the criticism might be a little more harsh. It took somebody really special that had a unique background to take that leap.”