Orioles manager Buck Showalter, asked for his response to Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell becoming on Saturday night the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, said he wanted to “take it all in” before giving his full take on the situation.
“I mean it doesn’t surprise me at all,” Showalter said before the Orioles’ home finale Sunday. “I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier. … I don’t really … If someone feels that way … We all have our own personal thoughts on it and it’s usually by the way we were brought up and exposure we’ve had to different things.
“Let’s face it. All of our thoughts are kind of shaped by the way we were brought up and the environment we were brought up in and what our fathers and grandfather and mothers and grandmothers and aunts and uncles [believed]. So I think everybody will have a little varying opinion on it. One which I’m not going to express publicly at this time. Maybe after today’s game. I don’t know. I guarantee you everybody … We’re in this country and people express things in different venues. I’m trying to see if [Chance] Sisco can catch [Dylan] Bundy today.”
Over the past 48 hours, the sports world and the political world have intersected after President Donald Trump expressed outrage about professional athletes expressing their beliefs. During a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump said fans should leave the stadium if an NFL player protests during the anthem. He added that owners should fire players who protest.
On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that the NBA champion Golden State Warriors were no longer invited for their customary White House visit because star guard Stephen Curry was considering not going. That sparked responses on social media from athletes across several sports condemning Trump’s statements.
That included Orioles executive John Angelos, who expressed his disapproval of President Trump's verbal sparring and sent a series of tweets supporting professional athletes using their platform to advance their causes.
Before the Ravens’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in London, several players on both teams knelt during the national anthem and members of both teams locked arms in a show of solidarity.
Maxwell became the first and only major league player to kneel during the anthem, doing so before Saturday night’s Texas Rangers-Oakland Athletics game.
No players or on-field staff members from the Orioles or Tampa Bay Rays knelt during the anthem before Saturday’s game or Sunday afternoon’s regular-season home finale at Camden Yards.
Beckham out of lineup Sunday after hamstring injury
Showalter came into Sunday expecting that shortstop Tim Beckham's right hamstring injury would keep him out of the lineup, and had been expecting to give J.J. Hardy a start anyway in his final game at Camden Yards after seven years with the Orioles.
Whether Beckham will be available the rest of the year is still unclear, though.
"As far as time frame, probably have a better idea tomorrow," Showalter said. "He's going to come in, get some treatment on the off day, but I probably won't play him today. Don't know the extent of it. Haven't gotten the full report back from [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells] yet."
Beckham left Saturday night's 9-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays after an infield single in the ninth inning.