FC Dallas defenseman Reggie Cannon criticized booing fans as his teammates and Nashville SC players knelt during the national anthem ahead of their Wednesday night game.
Cannon told reporters he was baffled that fans at Toyota Stadium – home of FC Dallas – boo as players kneel to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
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“I think it was disgusting. I think it was absolutely disgusting, ”Cannon said, according to MLSSoccer.com. “You have fans booing you for people who stand up for what they believe in. Millions of other people are supporting this cause and we have talked with all the other teams and the league about what we are going to do and we have fans booing us. our own stadium. How shameful is that? Honestly, for lack of a better word, that pissed me off. … You can’t even have the support of your own fans in your own stadium. It is confusing to me.
The national anthem was being played because fans were back for the first time since the league was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. MLS commissioner Don Garber said last weekend that the song would be played after it was not played in the MLS is Back tournament.
Cannon, who is a member of the U.S. national team, said Nashville and the league have been told the players will kneel down whether or not the anthem is played. Cannon said the reaction was overwhelming.
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“As a team, we try to deliver the best possible product in this field and the past six months have been absolute hell for us,” Cannon said. “And the opportunity arose to play tonight and unfortunately we’re crazy and upset. not to win but I was pissed off. Everyone around me was pissed off.
“Ryan Hollingshead, the first thing he said to me after we got up from the knee, he said, ‘I’m sorry’. I’m sorry for our fans because we’ve had someone singing “USA” when they don’t understand what keeling means, they don’t understand why we are kneeling, “” Cannon continued, “they can’t not see the reason, they just think we are the ignorant and it is incredibly frustrating.
“And I’m sorry for having that tone, but you have to call it for what it is.” I even know that when we decided to kneel down I knew it was going to happen. This should tell you something, I knew we were going to have some refusal to have a unified answer on what is going on. This is the problem, this is a problem. ”
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Nashville came away with the 1-0 victory.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.