FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon has a big problem with fans who boo during the national anthem. Earlier this month, FC Dallas took on Nashville SC in a Major League Soccer game that had close to 3,000 fans. Before the game, players from both teams took a knee during the anthem, which led to fans booing while one fan was kicked out of the game for throwing a water bottle. After the match, Cannon showed his frustration with fans not supporting players who kneel.
"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." Following the game, FC Dallas released a statement on players protesting.
"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," the statement read. "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."
Cannon went on to say that the people who were booing don't understand the reason the players in MLS and other sports leagues in the country are protesting. "We had someone chanting 'USA,' but they don't understand what kneeling means," he said. "They don't understand why we're kneeling. They can't see the reason. They think we're the ignorant ones. It's incredibly frustrating. I'm sorry to have this tone, but you have to call it for what it is."
Some fans might not like the fact MLS players are taking a knee, but the league has shown its support for players who make the decision protest. In a statement after the game, MLS commissioner Don Garber said the league "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."