Time will tell what the future holds for Bruce Maxwell’s baseball career after the A’s catcher was arrested Saturday night for allegedly pointing a gun at someone.
But there’s a subplot to this ugly incident: It seemingly damages Maxwell’s credibility as an activist for social justice and racial equality, which thrust him into the national spotlight in the first place.
More details are coming out about his arrest Saturday night in Scottsdale, when Maxwell was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct.
ABC15 Arizona released details from court documents of events, and they paint a troubling picture. Police say Maxwell, 26, opened the door to his home and pointed a handgun at the head of a female driver who was delivering him food. Maxwell reportedly lowered the gun as the driver gave him the food, and the driver then called the police after returning to her car.
Officers showed up to Maxwell’s residence, and, according to court documents, they detected alcohol on his breath. He allegedly began yelling, using profanity and making anti-police statements during the arrest.
According to the court documents, Maxwell admitted having a gun on him. He also admitted to un-holstering the gun but then later denied that, and he also denied ever pointing a gun at the driver. Though Maxwell told police he had canceled the food order, the restaurant from which he ordered reportedly had no record of him doing so.
Maxwell was held in custody at Maricopa County jail but released on $10,000 bail. His next court appearance is Nov. 6.
This turn of events unleashed a harsh Twitter response against Maxwell, which could have been predicted.
Maxwell took the bold step in September of becoming the first Major League player to kneel during the national anthem, joining many NFL players who have done the same thing in protest of what they view as ongoing racial inequality in the United States.
Many applauded Maxwell’s gesture on social media, but many also condemned it.
Regardless of one’s beliefs, the conviction and clarity with which Maxwell explained and defended himself was impressive. It was the rationale of someone who had put deep thought into the decision to kneel.
But when a professional athlete takes such a highly visible (and polarizing) stance, in the court of public opinion, it leaves them little margin for error regarding their own missteps. And Maxwell’s misstep Saturday was a doozy. It threatens to undo so much of the good he’s sought to accomplish on various fronts.
To many, it won’t matter that he spends much of his free time during spring training working as a volunteer coach with Mountain Pointe High School’s baseball program in Phoenix. It won’t matter that he spent time in Santa Rosa earlier this month visiting people affected by the devastating North Bay fires.
He now faces felony criminal charges should his case move forward, and there’s no sugarcoating that. It also doesn’t help that Maxwell recently was involved in a bizarre story coming out of Alabama.
He told TMZ Sports that he and two friends, one of them a local councilman, were denied service at a Huntsville restaurant by a server who was pro-Trump and disapproved of Maxwell’s decision to kneel. The restaurant manager and the server later issued strong denials and a different version of how events played out.
Who knows which side is telling the truth from that episode? But that’s exactly the point. It has to be tough, even for Maxwell’s supporters, to decide what to believe regarding his situation right now. And that deals quite a blow to Maxwell’s earnest efforts to make a difference in the political and social climate of our country.