The LA Angels have had a rollercoaster of a season. However, they have not been making headlines for any controversy or bold statements. Could that change with the first MLB player kneeling during the national anthem on Saturday?
The LA Angels division rivals Oakland Athletics made headlines on Saturday when rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell kneeled during the national anthem. He was the first to do so, potentially sparking a revolution within the MLB.
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Every sports fan knows the story. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick began a movement when he decided to sit during the national anthem prior to his games. He did this in protest of the racial injustice he felt currently takes place in the United States. This eventually turned to kneeling, which has led the way for a league-wide protest.
The protests took a significant bump after President Donald Trump said the NFL owners should “Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out. He’s fired”.
However, there were only 62 African American baseball players on Opening Day rosters in 2017. For the Angels, they currently have five African American players on their team in relief pitcher Keynan Middleton, outfielders Justin Upton, Eric Young Jr. and Ben Revere, and second baseman Brandon Phillips.
If any of them decided to kneel for the anthem, they would have their manager’s support. Mike Scioscia reportedly spoke to the team prior to their Sunday night victory to express his support if they decide to kneel.
While no Los Angeles players kneeled prior to their victory against the Houston Astros, that does not mean they won’t in the near future. For some (Upton, Phillips, Young, and Revere), they could potentially be facing free agency this offseason. This is a significant point, as Kaepernick is still without a job in the National Football League despite proving through his play and statistics that he deserves to be on a roster, and arguably even a starter.
With only one week of play left in the MLB season, the protests will be a huge storyline through this week and in the 2018 season.