Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics walked out onto the field Saturday, stood next to his team, faced the American flag and took a knee for the national anthem, becoming the first Major League Baseball player to use the protest gesture.

The 26-year-old catcher, who was born on a military base in Germany while his father was stationed there with the Army, held his green cap over his heart as the team stood on the foul line of the Oakland field. Immediately after he stood, he was hugged by left-fielder Mark Canha.

Moments later, The A’s released a statement supporting “all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”