Athletics

Former A's pitcher Mulder wins celebrity golf tournament for third straight year

Former A's pitcher Mulder wins celebrity golf tournament for third straight year

STATELINE, Nev. — Mark Mulder won his record third straight title Sunday in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, and Stephen Curry rallied to finish fourth.

Mulder had an 11-point victory over fellow former pitcher Derek Lowe and former tennis player Mardy Fish in the modified Stableford event at at Edgewood Tahoe. Players got 6 points for eagle, 3 for birdie, 1 for par, 0 for bogey and minus-2 for double bogey or higher.

Curry had 28 points in the final round — the best round score of the week in the 54-hole tournament — to finish with 60. The NBA star eagled the par-5 18th for a 68.

"This is no exaggeration, this is the best complete round of my life," Curry said. "I think I am one off from my best score, but considering the environment, how terrible I played earlier in the week, and to finish like this was the definitely the best round of my life. To finish like that on 18 was really, really fun. I'm going to be bragging about that for a long time."

Mulder had rounds of 72, 69 and 69 on the par-72 course. He earned $125,000.

"My three kids think this is the tournament where they get to run on the green," Mulder said about the victory celebration. "It's really cool that I was able to back that up. I didn't want to disappoint them."

Former NHL player Dan Quinn (2001-02) and former pitcher Rick Rhoden (2008-09) were the only others to win back-to-back titles.

Curry is set to play in the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae in the Bay Area on Aug. 3-6. The Web.com Tour is the PGA Tour's top developmental series.

"It is going to be a totally different environment," Curry said. "But hopefully I play like I did today and everything will be all right."

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

OAKLAND — Bruce Maxwell’s gesture to take a knee during the national anthem Saturday night at the Coliseum was no knee-jerk reaction by the A’s catcher.

It was something he’s considered for a long time, balancing his own personal convictions to make a statement with how it might affect his teammates and organization.

Think it was bold of Maxwell to become the first player in baseball to kneel during the anthem, in protest of racial discrimination and the inflammatory remarks of President Trump? It took just as much guts to stand before his teammates, manager Bob Melvin and GM David Forst and explain why he felt he needed to do it.

He did so in a pregame meeting Saturday that made for a degree of discomfort in the room, but also seemed to have played out in a healthy way.

“I didn’t want them to sugarcoat or aid me when it comes to the media and their personal feelings,” Maxwell said, “because the whole point of this is the ability to protest (based on) our personal beliefs and our personal choices.”

Many athletes have been critical of the President, with things intensifying across the sports landscape Saturday after Trump, among other things, withdrew an invitation for the Warriors to visit the White House and harshly criticized athletes who have knelt during the anthem, saying they should be booted off their teams.

After blasting Trump on both Instagram and Twitter, Maxwell took the field for the anthem and took the action that will define him in the eyes of the baseball world. Maxwell had been wanting to make a statement in some way. He said he and his sister dealt with racial discrimination growing up. Watching Trump’s rally play out in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala. on Friday further persuaded Maxwell to finally do so.

“This goes beyond the black community, it goes beyond the Hispanic community, because right now we’re having … a racial divide in all types of people,” said Maxwell, who is African American. “It’s being practiced from the highest power we have in this country and it’s basically saying it’s OK to treat people differently. And my kneeling, the way I did it, was to symbolize the fact that I’m kneeling for a cause. But I’m in no way or form disrespecting my country or my flag.”

A’s outfielder Mark Canha stood next to Maxwell during the anthem with his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder, a show of support. Canha said he’s considered kneeling before in protest himself but had chosen not to. As he listened to Maxwell address the team, Canha wasn’t going to let his teammate make his statement on his own.

“I could tell he was getting kind of choked up and emotional about his beliefs and how he feels about the racial discrimination that’s going on in this country right now,” Canha said. “I felt like every fiber of my being was telling me that he needed a brother today.”

Canha added that he sensed some “discomfort” in the room as Maxwell addressed the team. But he also said there was support.

“It was an open forum to ask him questions. It was as articulate as I’ve seen him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “This wasn’t an emotional thing just today for him. … I think he handled it really well and everybody was comfortable after the session. I’m proud of him for the fact he went about it the way he did.”

Maxwell, who was born in Germany while his father served in the Army over there, said he will continue to kneel for the anthem. He doesn’t expect his teammates to do the same, only to stick to what they believe in.

“I have plenty of family members, including my father, who have bled for this country,” Maxwell said. “At the end of the day, this the best country on the planet. My hand over my heart symbolized that I am, and will forever be, an American citizen. But my kneeling is what’s getting the attention because I’m kneeling for the people that don't have a voice.”

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell made history Saturday night in Oakland. The 26-year-old became the first player in big-league history to kneel during the national anthem. 

Below is the official statement from Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.

MLB media services contributed to this report