In conjunction with the league’s governing body, FC Dallas released statements late Thursday in support of defender Reggie Cannon, after the player was the recipient of what they characterized as “racist comments and death threats.”
There was a smattering of boos and one fan was removed from the stadium for throwing a water bottle when players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC collectively took a knee during the national anthem before their Major League Soccer game on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas.
Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said he was disgusted by the boos at Toyota Stadium when players and officials kneeled to call attention to racial injustice. He said teammate Ryan Hollingshead turned to him afterwards and said he was sorry. More than 5,000 people were allowed to attend the midweek match at Toyota Stadium and Cannon admitted he felt let down by a section of ‘ignorant fans’.
“They don’t understand why we’re kneeling. They can’t see the reason. They think we’re the ignorant ones,” says USA international Cannon. To his delight, the message was further passed across in a statement released by the American club.
We want to be clear: We love and support Reggie Cannon. The racist comments and death threats he has received are repulsive and unacceptable,” FC Dallas said in the statement. “There is no place in our sport, or in our country, for the kind of horrific vitriol Reggie has had to endure. Hateful or violent threats are never warranted.
A statement from the Major League Soccer also added: “MLS will not tolerate any abuse or threats to any individual player or team who decides to exercise their right to peaceful protest.”
There have been worldwide protests since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man who died on 25 May after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, while three other officers were also sacked and charged with aiding and abetting murder.