There was a series of boos as FC Dallas and Nashville SC players collectively knelt in the national anthem ahead of their Major League Soccer match on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas.
Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said he felt disgusted at boos at the Toyota Stadium as the players and officials knelt to call attention to racial injustice. He said teammate Ryan Hollingshead turned to him afterward and said he was sorry.
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“You can’t even get your own fans in the stadium,” Cannon said. “It confuses me.
“As a team, we strive to deliver the best we can on the pitch, and the past six months have been absolute hell for us. Absolute hell.”
Dallas and Nashville have not played a single game since the season was suspended on March 12 for the coronavirus. While the other teams played in MLS is Back in Florida for the past month, Dallas and Nashville were forced to retreat before starting because of a positive COVID-19 test between players from both teams.
Teams meet as the MLS restarts their regular season in local markets. Some games will include fans if that is allowed by the local jurisdiction. Only over 5,000 people were allowed to attend the match at the Toyota Stadium, although the number of spectators appeared to be less.
Nashville won 1-0. The two teams meet again on Sunday.
The death of George Floyd prompted a number of MLS players to form a Black Players for Change group, which seeks to eliminate systemic racism in football and society.
At the opening match of the MLS tournament in Florida, the members of the group stood in silence, fists for more than eight minutes. The players and coaches wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts throughout the event.
Eight minutes and 46 seconds was the time when prosecutors said Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was crushed to the ground under the knees of a white Minneapolis police officer before dying. (Duration was then revised to 7 minutes 46 seconds.)
Songs not played before matches in the tournament. Cannon said the players had asked not to play it before the game because they felt “it was not appropriate to play the song at the moment.”
“We had someone shouting at America, but they didn’t understand what kneeling meant,” Cannon said. “They don’t understand why we kneel.
“They can’t see why. They think we’re ignorant. It’s annoying. I’m sorry to have this tone, but you have to call it right.”
Cannon said he expected to see some negative response to the unified response.
“I’m heartbroken because I love our fans, I love this club, and I want to see the support that the tournament has given us, that everyone has given us, from the fans. our grave, ”he said.