There was a series of boos as players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC 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 by boos at the Toyota Stadium as players and officials knelt to call attention to racial injustice. He said teammate Ryan Hollingshead turned to him afterward and said he was sorry.
How Dallas and Nashville prepare for the rest of the 2020 season
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“You can’t even get support from the fans in your own stadium,” Cannon said. “I find it difficult to understand.
“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. Just 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 the game, 1-0. The two teams meet again on Sunday.
The death of George Floyd prompted some MLS players to form a group of Black Players for Change, which seeks to tackle the systematic 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. The players and coaches wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts throughout the event.
Songs not played before matches in the tournament. Cannon said the players were asking not to play the song before the game because they felt it was inappropriate to “sing the national anthem at the moment.”
“We had someone shouting at America, but they didn’t understand what kneeling meant,” Cannon added. “They don’t understand why we kneel.
“They couldn’t see why. They thought we were ignorant people.” That is extremely frustrating. I’m sorry to have this tone, but you have to call it true. “
Cannon said he expected to have some negative feedback for 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, the people giving us, from the fans. Ours, ”he said.