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Elephant Rumblings: Several Giants kneel for national anthem before exhibition game at Coliseum

MLB news roundup

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San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

Only once has a Major League Baseball player knelt for the national anthem before a regular season game, and that was Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell back in 2017. On Monday, someone else finally joined him, at least in the preseason.

Before the A’s exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants at the Coliseum, on the same field where Maxwell had done so in ‘17, several members of the Giants took a knee during the pregame performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” They included players Jaylin Davis, Austin Slater, and Mike Yastrzemski; coaches Antoan Richardson and Justin Viele; and manager Gabe Kapler, plus “multiple people in the bullpen,” reports John Shea of the S.F. Chronicle. Shea also offers this profile of Davis’ experience being a Black ballplayer.

Also on Monday, down in San Diego at Petco Park, Angels pitcher Kenyan Middleton took a knee before a game against the Padres.

The kneeling gesture, pioneered by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, is a peaceful protest against police brutality and racial injustice in the United States. Those topics have been especially prominent in the national discourse this summer, in the wake of the killing of Black man George Floyd by officers in Minnesota in late May.

Star shortstop Brandon Crawford stood in between Davis and Richardson with his hands on their shoulders, similar to how Mark Canha did with Maxwell back in 2017.

MLB supported the players’ decision to protest, and went a step further by clarifying a common misconception. The protest, which is aimed at mistreatment of the Black community by law enforcement and the justice system, is often criticized for being an attack on the flag and/or military because it takes place during a patriotic flag ceremony.

The league tweeted: “It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.”

The Giants echoed that sentiment in their own statement below, by Farhan Zaidi, President of Baseball Ops.

NBCS caught up with Maxwell Monday night to get his thoughts on the Giants following the lead he set three years ago, which you can read here.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News, & Interest:

A’s Game Highlights:

First, enjoy some batting practice from Monday before the A’s played the Giants

Stephen Piscotty went high and deep for Oakland’s first run of the day, and of the year

Liam Chapman

Minor note regarding the lineup

Chapman going out of his way to create memories for some lucky A’s fans

Best of Twitter:

The D-Train is pulling into the NBCS station!

Division rival adding a new pitcher

This is encouraging

This is less encouraging

The spitting image! (But seriously no spitting)

On to more familiar health issues, Brett Anderson and Jed Lowrie were both placed on the IL by their teams, and on the same day no less (and the Marlins released Ryan Cook)

Interesting stuff from two A’s prospects