Players Kneeling for Anthem Met with Boos Before MLS Game

by Anne M. Peterson


There was a smattering of boos when players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC collectively took a knee during the national anthem before their MLS game Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas.

Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said he was disgusted by the boos at Toyota Stadium when players and officials knelt to call attention to racial injustice. He said teammate Ryan Hollingshead turned to him afterward and said he was sorry.

FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez wears a Black Live Matter t-shirt on the bench during the first half of an MLS soccer game against Nashville SC at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Frisco, Texas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

“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.”

Dallas and Nashville had not played a game since the season was suspended on March 12 because of the coronavirus. While Major League Soccer’s other teams played in the MLS is Back tournament in Florida over the past month, Dallas and Nashville were forced to withdraw before the start because of positive COVID-19 tests among players from both teams.

The teams met Wednesday as MLS restarts the regular season. Some of the games will include fans if local jurisdictions allow it. Just over 5,000 were allowed to attend the match at Toyota Stadium, although the crowd that showed up appeared smaller.

Nashville won the game, 1-0. The two teams meet again Sunday.

The death of George Floyd has spurred a number of MLS players to form the group Black Players for Change, which seeks to address systemic racism in soccer and society. Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin Floyd to the ground for nearly eight minutes.

At the opening game of the MLS tournament in Florida, members of Black Players for Change collectively stood in silence, fists raised, for several minutes. Players and coaches also wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts throughout the event.

The anthem was not played before games at the tournament. Cannon said the players had asked that it not 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. They don’t understand why we’re kneeling. 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.”

Cannon said he expected to have some pushback over the unified response.

“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.

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Anne M. Peterson is a reporter for The Associated Press. 

About the Headline Photo: FC Dallas (left) and Nashville SC players kneel during the national anthem before an MLS soccer game at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Frisco, Texas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP)







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7 Thoughts to “Players Kneeling for Anthem Met with Boos Before MLS Game”

  1. Deplorable Bay Stater

    And all of this horse-s**t was triggered over the death of a common criminal and druggie who died from an overdose of fentanyl and methamphetimine — not from the actions of the police officers, despite all the hysterical nonsense from the media and BLM blaming them — without evidence, as the MSM like to say.

  2. 83ragtop50

    You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me,” Cannon said.

    This guy really sounds dumber than dirt. (My apologies to dirt)
    He might get support when he quits shunning the nation anthem and our flag.

  3. Kevin

    Yeah, boycott any sport OR business that disrespects the flag or this country! The sacrifices of past, present and future Patriots, in the form of their blood, sweat and tears, MUST NOT be denigrated by a minority group of ungrateful, self-important, narcissistic idiots!

    But soccer is a “girls-game”! It’s no wonder that it popular all around the world. Most of the world is becoming a bunch of wusses! The players stub their toe, fall down on the ground and writhe in faux pain, looking for a yellow or red card. How about you pick yourself up, keep going and grow a couple, instead of kicking one!

  4. M. Flatt

    No, they don’t think you’re ignorant. The KNOW you’re ignorant.

    If the nation hasn’t been awash with the mythos of “systematic racism”, then there must be a significant portion of the population that doesn’t watch television or get onto social media.

    Those that kneel during the anthem are not “brining awareness to the problem.” What they are doing is publicly self-flagellating in a ritual of purification for the goddess “Tolerance”.

  5. Russ Crouch

    They cannot understand? What is NOT to understand? This shows great dis-respect for this country. They may not see it that way, but MOST do. Since the fans, one way or the other, pay for these people to play a game, one day they will figure it out when the money is not there to pay them.

  6. Dave

    Boycott all pro-sports leagues that condone disrespecting our great flag & anthem.

    1. Ron Welch

      Right Dave, and the same pro sports leagues which condone BLM and its admitted Communist leadership who promote hate, destruction and slavery.

      “We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country, of patriotism. The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.” –Karl Marx

      “We must hate. Hatred is the basis of communism. Children must be taught to hate their parents if they are not communists.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin