‘How disgraceful… people booing you for taking a stand for what you believe in’: FC Dallas defender condemns fans who jeered and shouted ‘U-S-A’ as players took a knee during national anthem before first regular-season MLS game
- A handful of fans jeered Dallas and Nashville players as they took a knee
- Players from both sides protested against racism while national anthem played
- One fan shouted ‘stand up’ and ‘U-S-A’ while another threw a water bottle
- 3,000 socially distanced spectators were allowed into the Toyota Stadium
- Dallas defender Reggie Cannon was critical of his team’s own fans for reaction
FC Dallas player Reggie Cannon has condemned his team’s own fans after a small minority booed players as they kneeled during the national anthem before a game on Wednesday night.
Players from both Dallas and opponents Nashville decided to take a knee as the anthem was played ahead of their Major League Soccer (MLS) fixture.
Around 3,000 spectators were allowed into the Toyota Stadium to watch the game with numbers restricted amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
A handful of spectators at the MLS match between Dallas and Nashville jeered players as they took a knee during the playing of the national anthem on Wednesday evening
The players decided to make the protest against racial prejudice with the blessing of the MLS
Those in attendance had to sign a liability waiver saying they will not bring legal action against the clubs or the MLS if they contracted Covid-19.
But as the players protested against racial prejudice, a handful of fans jeered them with one shouting ‘stand up’ and ‘U-S-A’.
One person was reportedly escorted out of the stadium after throwing a water bottle at the players as they kneeled.
And Dallas defender Cannon said: ‘How disgraceful is that?
‘You got fans booing you for people taking a stand for what they believe in.
‘Millions of other people support this cause and we discussed with every other team and the league what we’re going to do and we’ve got fans booing us in our own stadium.
‘I think it was absolutely disgusting. I’m sorry for our fans because we had someone chanting ‘USA’ when they don’t understand what kneeling means.
Dallas defender Reggie Cannon (No 2) described the reaction of some fans as ‘disgusting’
Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez and his bench wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts at the game
‘They don’t understand why we’re kneeling – they can’t see the reason, they just think we’re the ignorant ones and it’s incredibly frustrating.
‘When we decided to kneel I knew it was going to happen. That should tell you something.
‘I knew we were going to have some negative pushback from having a unified response over what’s going on. That’s a problem.’
Cannon, 22, a United States international, said the MLS were aware of what both teams planned to do prior to kick-off in a game Nashville ultimately won 1-0.
He had asked for the national anthem not to be played but the MLS had stated it would be whenever fans are in attendance.
Nashville won the match 1-0 thanks to a goal by David Accam as the MLS resumed again
The match in Texas was the first MLS fixture with fans admitted since the league was suspended in March because of coronavirus.
Both teams had been unable to play in the MLS is Back tournament in Florida over recent weeks because of positive tests.
The Dallas manager Luchi Gonzalez wore a Black Lives Matter t-shirt on the touchline with sports stars around the world showing support for the movement since the death of black man George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
Former police officer Derek Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.
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