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UPDATE: Waiter says Bruce Maxwell is lying about being refused service

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UPDATE: Earlier this week, Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell told TMZ Sports that a waiter refused to serve him at an Alabama restaurant because he was a Trump supporter and he disagreed with Maxwell’s kneeling protests during the National Anthem late in the season. The original report to that effect is below.

Today, however, the waiter and the restaurant manager say that Maxwell and the man he was eating with, a local city councilman, are lying. First, from Huntsville, Alabama news website, Rocketcitynow.com:

“That is an absolute lie,” said Matthew Henry, the waiter . . . I never mentioned President Trump. I never mentioned kneeling,” Henry said. “I had no idea who he was until his friend told me halfway through the lunch . . . I would like a public apology from Mr. Bruce Maxwell,” Henry said. “And I would like one for all the folks I worked with. He represents Huntsville, Alabama, whether he likes it or not and we’re not the kind of people who would do that kind of thing.”

There is more detail in this Fox News report, where the restaurant’s manager is quoted. The manager backs Henry’s account and says the only point of contention during the lunch was that one of the men dining with Maxwell and the city councilman didn’t have a driver’s license so Henry would not serve him alcohol. The city councilman tried to intervene, allegedly telling the manager at one point who Maxwell was, and the matter was resolved by the person without I.D. not being served and the waiter being reassigned.

Maxwell’s account to TMZ, though not contradicted yesterday, was not as detailed as these reports. It would seem incumbent upon Maxwell and, possibly, the city councilman, who originally backed Maxwell’s story, to come forward and clarify.

It would be most unfortunate — and a very, very bad look for Maxwell — if it turns out that Maxwell’s story was made up.

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Tuesday, October 24: Last month Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell made news when he became the first baseball player to take a knee during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and in support of racial equality. We talked about the possible repercussions Maxwell may face in baseball as a result of that, but it seems he’s getting some blowback elsewhere: from a waiter at a restaurant in his hometown.

Maxwell told TMZ Sports that on his first day back home in Harvest, Alabama after the end of the season, a waiter at a restaurant refused to serve him because of his protest. Maxwell:

“He was like, ‘You’re the guy who took the knee? I voted for Trump and I stand for everything he stands for.'”

Maxwell and his dining companion, a local city councilman, complained to management and got a different server.

All’s well that ends well, I suppose, but this really creates problems for the people who claim to be fine with protests in theory but think that doing it at one’s place of work is a bad idea.

The Cubs played under protest after Joe Maddon disputed an ‘illegal’ pitching motion

Joe Maddon
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The Cubs found themselves in a disadvantageous position toward the end of their 5-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday. Down by three in the ninth, they were finally looking to gain some ground against closer Sean Doolittle after wearying themselves against Stephen Strasburg for the first eight innings of the game. Instead, the game ended under protest when Cubs skipper Joe Maddon took umbrage with Doolittle’s delivery:

The issue appeared to stem from the motion Doolittle made with his left foot, a kind of “toe-tapping” gesture that Maddon believed had previously been made illegal. The official rules state that a pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate during his delivery, a stipulation that had previously been violated by Cubs’ pitcher Carl Edwards Jr.:

Comparing the two motions, however, one would be hard-pressed to characterize Doolittle’s tapping motion as a full step toward the plate. Maddon clearly didn’t see it that way, and emerged from the dugout to dispute the pitcher’s delivery twice. Following Doolittle’s first-pitch strike to Albert Almora, the manager informed home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook that the Cubs would play the remainder of the game under protest.

An official decision has not yet been announced regarding the illegality of the delivery and the validity of the Cubs’ protest. According to league rules, “the game will not be replayed unless it is also determined that the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning.”

During the inning in question, however, the umpiring crew allowed Doolittle to continue his delivery. He helped secure the Nationals’ 5-2 win after inducing a groundout from Almora, striking out Kyle Schwarber, and getting a game-ending pop-out from Kris Bryant.

After the game, both Holbrook and Doolittle took issue with Maddon’s protest.

“In that moment, he’s not trying to do anything other than rattle me,” Doolittle told reporters. “And it was kind of tired. I don’t know, sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game. So he put his stamp on it, for sure.”

Holbrook, meanwhile, said Doolittle did “absolutely nothing illegal at all.”