FC Dallas fans were not happy about the team's decision to kneel during the national anthem before a game last week. In an MLS contest between FC Dallas and Nashville SC, players from both teams took a knee during the national anthem to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which led to some boos from the 3,000 fans in attendance. According to ESPN, one fan was removed from the stadium after throwing a water bottle.
FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon blasted the FC Dallas fans who booed during the anthem. "I think it was absolutely disgusting," he said after the game. "You've 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."
National anthem plays, all players and refs are kneeling: pic.twitter.com/WGwHCBjdiW— Angel Madison Franco (@angelmadison_) August 13, 2020
The following day, FC Dallas released a statement about kneeling during the anthem. "FC Dallas supports our players and fans in their right to express themselves in a peaceful manner," the statement said. "The National Anthem was played before last night's match while the players were on the field which Major League Soccer requires when fans are in attendance. While we understand the decision to stand or kneel for the National Anthem is a polarizing issue, we hope that FC Dallas can be a leader in helping our community accept diverse viewpoints in a respectful way as we all work together in the ongoing fight for racial equality."
MLS commissioner Don Garber also spoke out on the issue, saying: "We want to be very clear that MLS will not tolerate any abuse or threats to any individual player or team who decides to exercise their right to peaceful protest during the playing of the playing of the national anthem or any other pre-game ceremony."
MLS is one of the many pro sports leagues to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In the first game of the MLS is Back Tournament an MLS group called Black Players for Change stood in silence with their fists raised for more than eight minutes. This was to pay tribute to George Floyd, a Black man from Minnesota who was killed while in the custody of the police.