Crowd at MLS Game Boo Players After They Kneel for Anthem
Players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC face backlash for kneeling
Players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC who kneeled during the national anthem before their MLS game was met with boos from the crowd.
During the MLS game on Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas, Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said he was disgusted by the boos.
He said teammate Ryan Hollingshead turned to him afterward and said he was sorry.
“You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me,” Cannon said.
“As a team, we try to give the best possible product on the field, and these last six months have been absolute hell for us. Absolute hell.”
Since the season was suspended on March 12 because of the coronavirus, Dallas and Nashville had not played a single game.
Dallas and Nashville had been forced to stop games when players from both teams tested positive for COVID-19.
Just over 5,000 were allowed to attend the match at Toyota Stadium, although the crowd that showed up appeared smaller.
Following the death of George Floyd, a number of MLS players formed the group Black Players for Change, which seeks to address systemic racism in soccer.
During the opening game of the MLS tournament in Florida, members stood with fists raised, for more than eight minutes.
Both players and coaches also wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts throughout the event.
Cannon said the players had asked for the anthem not to be played before the game because they didn’t feel it was right “for the anthem to be played in this moment.”
“We had someone chanting U.S.A., but they don’t understand what kneeling means," he said.
"They don’t understand why we’re kneeling," he added.
"They can’t see the reason. They think we’re the ignorant ones,” Cannon said.
“It’s incredibly frustrating. I’m sorry to have this tone, but you have to call it for what it is.”
“It hurts me because I love our fans, I love this club, and I want to see the support that the league has given us, that everyone has given us, from our fans,” he said.
U.S. Soccer recently repealed its policy, which requires players to stand during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner."