September 24, 2017 / 2:23 AM / a year ago

A's Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during anthem

Sep 9, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell (13) hits a one-run double against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell joined the list of athlete protesters on Saturday when he became the first MajorLeague Baseball player to kneel during the national anthem.

Maxwell placed his hand over his heart and faced the flag as the anthem played prior to his team’s game against the Texas Rangers.

The Athletics issued a statement on Twitter that read: “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive. We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Entering Saturday the 26-year-old Maxwell has played in 71 games this season, batting .244 with three homers and 21 RBI.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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