A's Bruce Maxwell says he will not kneel during the national anthem in 2018

Last season, Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first and so far only MLB player to kneel during the national anthem. He said he followed in Colin Kaepernick's footsteps to protest police brutality, among other things.

On Tuesday, the first day of spring training for the A's, Maxwell announced he will not continue to kneel during the anthem this season. Here's what he told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Obviously, I didn't take that lightly," Maxwell said of his decision to kneel last fall. "That was to bring awareness to a problem and the face we do see it, we do experience and we have empathy for what's going on. This year I don't plan on kneeling. … And we'll move on forward." 

Maxwell later released the following statement:

"As a member of a military family, I respect the sacrifices of the men and women who served and continue to serve our country. The purpose of the gesture was to raise awareness about social issues affecting our country, and while I'm looking forward to a society that is inclusive, empathetic and a welcoming place, I will not continue the symbolic gesture of taking a knee during our National Anthem this season."  

A's manager Bob Melvin agreed with Maxwell's decision to no longer kneel during the anthem:

Over the winter Maxwell was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct after allegedly pointing a gun at a food delivery person. His legal case is pending and Maxwell will likely face discipline from MLB.

Maxwell, 27, is slated to be Oakland's starting catcher this season. He hit .237/.329/.333 with three home runs in 76 games last season.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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