FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon clashed with fans who were playing when his teammates and Nashville SC players knelt during the national anthem before Wednesday night’s game.
Cannon told reporters he was anxious that fans at Toyota Stadium – the home of FC Dallas – were getting tired as players knelt in protest of 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 the fans making it possible for people to take a stand for what they believe. Millions of other people support this cause and we discussed with every other team and the league what we will do and we have got the fans who use us. “Our stadium. How embarrassing is that? Honestly, for lack of a better word, it made me sad. … You can not even have the support of your fans in your stadium. It ̵6;s amazing to me.”
The national anthem was being played because fans were back in attendance for the first time since the leagues closed on the coronavirus pandemic. MLS commissioner Don Garber said last weekend the song would be played as it was not played on the MLS is Back tournament.
Cannon, who is a member of the U.S. national team, said Nashville and the championship were informed the players would kneel down whether the anthem was played or not. Cannon said the reaction was disturbing.
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“As a team, we strive to deliver the best possible product in that area and these last six months have been absolute hell for us,” Cannon said. “And the opportunity presented itself to play tonight and unfortunately, we’re crazy and upset not to win, but I suffered. Everyone around me got upset.
“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 had someone cheering ‘USA’, when they do not understand what it means to say, they do not understand why we are kneeling, ‘” Cannon continued, “they can not see the reason, they just think we are the ignorant ones and it is extremely disappointing.
“And I’m sorry you have this tone, but you have to call it what it’s. I even know when we decided to kneel I knew it was going to happen. That should tell you something, I knew it was going to happen. “We had some negative reactions from getting a unified response to what is happening. This is the problem, this is a problem.”
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Nashville left with the victory, 1-0.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.