An Alabama waiter is disputing Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell’s story about being denied service at a restaurant because he knelt during the national anthem.
According to Fox News, Matt Henry, a waiter at Keegan’s Public House in Huntsville, Alabama, said Maxwell is “outright lying” about the incident.
Earlier this week, Maxwell, who was the first MLB player to kneel during the anthem, told TMZ he was refused service by a waiter who recognized him for taking a knee. The waiter, Maxwell alleged, said he couldn’t serve the catcher because he voted for President Trump and “stands for everything he stands for.”
But Henry told Fox News that Maxwell was upset over the waiter carding his friend while ordering a drink.
“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 said. “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.”
Maxwell, Henry said, was dining with an unnamed friend and Democratic Councilman Devyn Keith. The friend, in this instance, was carded and had an expired ID, Henry said.
Keith, who went to high school with Maxwell, told The Washington Post that the waiter carded everyone at the table once the catcher ordered a beer with his meal. Keith said the waiter recognized Maxwell from his ID as the “the guy who took a knee.”
Keith also said the manager of the restaurant assigned them a new waiter. Keith did not identify the restaurant because Maxwell and Keith wanted people to keep supporting local businesses.
Keegan’s Public House manager Anne Whalen backed up Henry’s version of events.
“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,” Whalen said. “Eventually Matt just asked if we could put another server on the table so I did. … I can’t believe the story.”
Maxwell, an African-American, first knelt during the “Star Spangled Banner” in September shortly after Trump gave a speech in Maxwell’s hometown of Huntsville — with Trump saying any “son of a [expletive]” who protested during the flag deserved to be fired.
Maxwell has said he’ll continue to kneel next season. In a statement, the Oakland A’s told Fox News that they had no comment and Maxwell stands by his story.