A's voice support as Bruce Maxwell kneels for national anthem for second straight day

Saturday night, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem as a form of peaceful protest against racism and police brutality. The movement started with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year.

Maxwell again took a knee during the national anthem Sunday and, once again, teammate Mark Canha showed support by placing his hand on Maxwell's shoulder:

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
With the support of his teammates, Bruce Maxwell again took a knee during the national anthem Sunday. USATSI

Maxwell was born in Germany while his father was stationed there in the Army. He is said to be very patriotic, having shown great pride in the team's Fourth of July uniforms this year. He is currently recovering from a concussion and was not in the lineup Saturday or Sunday.

The A's have shown nothing but support for Maxwell, who held a team meeting and took questions before kneeling Saturday. Several teammates spoke to ESPN's Nick Wagoner about Maxwell's protest on Sunday:

"Baseball has a lot of interesting dynamics that I'm not sure, I don't know if they exist in other sports or not because I'm not in those sports," Canha said. "With all the unwritten rules of baseball, and I personally -- I haven't thought about this much, to be honest, so this is me kind of coming up with an answer off the top of my head -- but I think that with all of the unwritten rules in baseball, there's certainly this concept of how to act when you're in a major league clubhouse and when you're on a major league baseball field. I think involved in all of that is a feeling of not wanting to rock the boat, so to speak. And I think that people are a little bit hesitant to speak their mind all the time, which I think is kind of a disappointing part of baseball. 

"I think people should be able to express themselves. I think people should have fun on the field and celebrate how they want to celebrate and express their political beliefs if that's what they want to do. That's what this country is founded upon, was the idea that people should be able to do that, 300, 200 years ago. So I think that people love playing this game, and they love their jobs in this game, and there's this idea to want to hold on to that so badly and not want to rock the boat. That's not what the founding fathers had in mind."  

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"I really commend Bruce. He's really brave for that, especially in baseball," shortstop Marcus Semien said. "Baseball is a different sport. We have a lot of guys coming from all over the country, all over the world. It's just a different animal. I think Bruce did a great job of coming to us and explaining to us what he's been through in his life, what he's been through this year, what he's noticed is going on in the world and our country, especially. Just his background. I've met his dad -- he's a military man. Bruce is from Alabama, a place that's had a lot of racial divide, a lot of divide with people. So yesterday, he chose to do what he did, and he's very brave for it." 

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"I think it shows how passionate Bruce feels about the subject, and I don't think it's something he woke up the day before or the night of and decided to do it," (Jed) Lowrie said. "I think it's something that he had been thinking about for some time now." 

NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors also expressed support for Maxwell, saying he is "standing up for something great."

On Sunday, many NFL players either took a knee or remained in the locker room for the national anthem, one day after President Donald Trump said players who kneel during the national anthem should be "fired." That appears to have spurred on Maxwell's protest.

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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