Bruce Maxwell is a catcher for the Oakland Athletics and while he’s not well known as a ballplayer, he gained some infamy as the only major leaguer to take a knee during the National Anthem during the 2017 season.
Now he’s making even more waves after telling some stories to the reporters at TMZ Sports.
Maxwell told TMZ that he was “racially profiled” upon returning to his hometown in Alabama in September.
I got racially profiled in my hometown the day I got home. I wasn’t even home four hours and I got denied service at lunch with our city councilman who is also an African American guy I went to high school with because the dude recognized me as the guy who took a knee and he voted for Trump and was at that Trump rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
And so he denied us service at lunch and they had to go get us another waiter to wait on our table in that same restaurant.
He was like, “Oh, yeah, you’re that guy, huh?” And I was like, “scuse me?” He was like “Yea, you’re the guy that took the knee?” He goes, “I voted for Trump and I stand for everything he stands for.”
Before we move on to “the rest of the story,” let me add one thing here. Even if Maxwell was completely correct in his account of what happened, this is NOT “racial profiling.” Racial profiling is when someone is pre-judged (and then likely discriminated against) based on their race or ethnicity. In this story, the person knows exactly who Maxwell is and refuses to serve him based not on his race/ethnicity, but because of his actions. Presumably, the restaurant does indeed serve African-Americans, otherwise they would be infamous in their community and I doubt that a local politician and a ballplayer would be patronizing their establishment.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it turns out that Maxwell wasn’t exactly telling TMZ the truth when he relayed his little saga.
The waiter in question told Fox News that Maxwell’s story is a complete fabrication and that their dispute had nothing to do with protests, Trump, or anything about politics. It was all about alcohol.
“He is outright lying. This is really upsetting as he was given full service, I didn’t even know who Bruce Maxwell was,” Matt Henry, a 42-year-old waiter at Keegan’s Public House, told Fox News. “This all started because I carded his friend who wanted to order a beer.”
According to Henry, an Alabama native, Maxwell was dining with local Democratic councilman Devyn Keith and another friend who produced an expired ID, and the server refused to serve him a drink — which upset the friend, who followed him into the kitchen.
“He asked me, don’t you know who Bruce Maxwell is, and told me I was making everyone feel uncomfortable. Nobody was even paying attention to them,” Henry claimed. “I didn’t know anything about him or the kneeling. All I know is a friend of mine 15 years ago lost his job for serving someone a drink who happened to be underage, so if anyone looks under 30, I’m going to card them.”
The waiter said that the councilman then complained to the restaurant’s manager about Maxwell being uncomfortable, and the manager simply swapped me to another table, and that it was “no big deal.”
The restaurant’s manager confirmed her waiter’s story and said that politics and race were never part of the equation.
“Matt came to me and told me that a guy wanted a beer but his ID was not valid and I told him he absolutely could not give it to him, we can go to jail for that in the state of Alabama,” the manager said.
“It was his friend causing all the fuss, none of us even knew who this baseball player was. I told him I had no idea who he was going on about,” she said. “Eventually Matt just asked if we could put another server on the table so I did. … I can’t believe the story.”
The waiter, Matt Henry, was shocked when he heard Maxwell’s version of events in the news.
“We didn’t even discuss Trump. I was working two jobs, I don’t have time for rallies,” Henry continued. “If this all happened a month ago, why suddenly now is he claiming all this now?”
“It’s really easy for people to point a finger at Alabama, and that’s what has upset me about this fabrication the most,” Henry noted. “This is one of the best places to live in America, if not the planet. Hearing this was a slap in the face.”
The facts of the story, not to mention the testimony of the Henry and his manager, make Maxwell’s story seem far-fetched.
The trio did eat at the restaurant, Maxwell did get his alcohol, and they paid their bill. If it was you, and you had just been refused service by a belligerent waiter, would you stay and eat? Would you be okay when the restaurant refuses to discipline the waiter for his rude behavior? Would the same community that had elected a black city councilman allow a restaurant that “racially profiles” local African-Americans, allow a restaurant to operate in this manner?
I don’t think any of these things are plausible, and it makes the account of the waiter and his former manager all the more believable. It also makes Maxwell sound like an opportunistic liar.