Players Booed While Kneeling for Anthem as Fans Return to Stadium
By Johnathan Jones
Published August 13, 2020 at 7:06am
Fans of Major League Soccer who were permitted to attend a game Wednesday in Dallas booed players for kneeling during the national anthem.
FC Dallas played Nashville SC in a game that allowed fans in the stadium in a limited capacity.
Some of those fans made their presence known when players from both teams refused to stand for the country’s flag and anthem.
Nashville won the game 1-0, but one Dallas player felt more than the sting of defeat.
Defender Reggie Cannon lashed out at fans for booing him and others for kneeling during the anthem.
BBC Sport reported many fans began chanting “USA!” and booed the players as they brought leftist politics into Wednesday’s game.
“How disgraceful is that?” Cannon, who had just refused to stand for his country’s flag, stated.
In an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, the player attacked his own fans for not supporting his politics.
“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,” he said, according to the BBC.
After fans gave Cannon’s political activism an icy reception, he added, “I think it was absolutely disgusting.
Angel Madison Franco, a Dallas sportswriter, tweeted that some fans threw “objects.”
But Cannon, who is originally from Chicago, wasn’t finished complaining about some of the 3,000 fans who attended the game.
“I’m sorry for our fans because we had someone chanting ‘USA’ when they don’t understand what kneeling means,” he said.
“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.”
“You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium,” Cannon added. “It’s baffling to me.
“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.”
The 22-year-old signaled he knew the on-field political activism might not be warmly received.
“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,” he said. “That’s the problem. That’s a problem.”
“It hurts me because I love our fans,” the anthem kneeler said.
“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 added.
Ironically, the national anthem-kneeling player concluded that he and other payers in the MLS will continue to kneel for the anthem to show the world that “everyone stands together.”
MLS soccer retuned this week after the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bleacher Report.
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