Report: New York Mets sign first MLB player to kneel

By Matt Johnson
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are signing catcher Bruce Maxwell to a minor-league deal, per Newsday’s Tim Healey.

Maxwell, 29, became the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem to raise awareness for police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.

Mets sign catcher Bruce Maxwell to minor-league contract

Maxwell, who last played in the majors during the 2018 season with the Oakland Athletics, arrived in New York this week to undergo testing. Once he passes a physical and clears the COVID-19 intake screening, he can report to the Mets’ minor-league camp.

During the 2017 season with the Oakland Athletics, Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel when the national anthem was played to protest against racial injustice. A month later, Maxwell was charged with aggravated assault after allegedly pointing a gun at a delivery person’s head.

Maxwell later reached a plea agreement, but was designated for assignment by the Athletics in September 2018. After not drawing much interest in the offseason, Maxwell played in the Mexican League this past year.

Across 366 career at-bats, Maxwell owns a .240/.314/.347 slash line with five home runs and a .661 OPS. He will likely serve as organizational depth for the Mets, but could be called upon if injuries or the coronavirus sidelines one of the team’s catchers.