Good morning, Athletics Nation!
When he was on the Oakland A’s in 2017, catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first (and still only) MLB player to kneel in protest during the pregame national anthem. He was following the lead of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, making a peaceful statement against police brutality toward the black community.
At the time of Maxwell’s protest, the A’s released a statement supporting his “constitutional rights and freedom of expression.” However, not everyone agreed with him, and in an interview with Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle on Wednesday he talks about the blowback and death threats he received.
Unfortunately, Maxwell ran into legal trouble shortly after his protest, but that wasn’t a coincidence — the two episodes were directly related, he explains. Please click the link to read all the details, and listen to the interview itself on the accompanying podcast. If you’ve been critical of Maxwell’s actions in the past, whether regarding his protest or his arrest, I especially encourage you to give him a minute of your time to offer his side of the story.
As for negotiations between the league and players for a 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, they’re still far apart on the specifics, but there continue to be consistent reports that everyone seems to think a deal will get done and baseball will happen this summer. However, there’s still one roadblock that’s ultimately out of everyone’s hands, and it finally happened in another pro league — two players in Japan’s NPB have tested positive for the virus, something that hasn’t yet happened in Taiwan (which has already been playing for nearly two months) or Korea (playing for one month so far).
- Slusser: Ex-A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell: ‘Where was this support’ when he protested racism? ($)
- Slusser podcast: Interview with Bruce Maxwell
- Hickey: Athletics’ Bruce Maxwell Still Getting Blowback From Taking a Knee to Protest Racism in 2017
- Hickey: Athletics Minor League Pitchers Cerny, Birlingmair Mostly Just Want to Pitch
- Poole: Bruce Maxwell’s Colin Kaepernick kneel still sparks hate, misunderstanding
- Slusser Mailbag: What’s the fallout from team’s financial decisions? Is draft affected? ($)
- Portside podcast: Guest is Ben Ross
- Lupica: He should be known for more than HR he gave up (Eckersley)
- Shea: I-5 Series, Game 7: SoCal routs NorCal 19-6, wins title as McGwire named MVP ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Rosenthal and Drellich: Sides deadlocked after MLB rejects latest Players Association proposal ($$$)
- Adams (roundup): MLB Rejects MLBPA Proposal; No Counter-Offer Planned
- Japan Times: Reigning CL MVP Hayato Sakamoto one of two Giants players to test positive for COVID-19
- Hickey: Pandemic Insurance Bailed Out Wimbledon; Could It Have Done the Same for MLB?
- Adams (roundup): Several Prospects Withdraw From 2020 Draft
- ‘86 Mets to face ‘01 M’s for Dream Bracket 2 crown
- Adler: How three HS teammates became MLB stars
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Donation opportunity, posted by A’s minor league catcher JJ Schwarz
I challenge anyone reading this to match/exceed my donations!! Do your research, choose your city, pick an organization, donate, post it in these replies. We need to unite and spread some unconditional love!! #BlackLivesMattter #RootedInOakland #PalmBeachCounty pic.twitter.com/DQ10WOhgSs— JJ Schwarz (@usetheschwarz22) June 3, 2020
... and a list of suggested businesses to patronize
BAY AREA! below is a link that will show you a list of Black owned businesses who would LOVE your support. If ANYONE has links to similar data bases, send em my way & I’ll retweet. https://t.co/vDspOrGo1O https://t.co/dys4oxL1tC— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) June 3, 2020
The audacity to ask for free tickets after this encounter
Some common ground in league/player negotiations
MLB and union are pretty much in agreement on a couple things: expanded playoffs and universal DH. And they are close to agreeing on the all-important health protocols. Of course if MLB imposes a very short season — 40-50 games — all bets are off on anything and everything else.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 3, 2020
To wrap things up, a bit of fun baseball history