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"It was disgusting" | USA international Reggie Cannon condemns booing

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

14:43 13 Aug 2020

FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon has condemned fans who booed players for taking the knee before his side's MLS home game against Nashville.

Approximately three-thousand supporters were allowed to attend the first match for both sides since the coronavirus pandemic halted the MLS season at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas last night.

Cannon revealed that the players request for the anthem not to be played before kick-off was ignored and after the game, condemned the section of fans who booed as the players took the knee.

"I think it was disgusting. I think it was absolutely disgusting," a measured, but clearly angry, Cannon said following 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.

"How disgraceful is that? Honestly, for lack of a better word, it pissed me off. ... You can’t even have support form your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me."

Cannon, who has represented his country 11 times, said that the players' plan to kneel was communicated to Nashville and to MLS organisers.

"Everyone from Nashville was on board. Everyone across the league was on board with what we were going to do," he continued.

"We asked for no anthem because we don't feel it's right for the anthem to be played at this moment. They ignored our wishes.

"We were going to kneel regardless, if the anthem was played or not."

Players in leagues all across Europe, including the SSE Airtricity League and the Premier League, have been showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by taking the knee before games.

Governing bodies in Europe have supported players in their decision to join the protests which grew worldwide following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in May.

Cannon was approached by a team-mate after the incident.

"Ryan Hollingshead, the first thing he said to me after we got up from the knee, he said 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry for our fans'," said the 22-year-old.

"We had someone chanting USA, but they don't understand what kneeling means.

"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.

"I even knew when we decided to kneel I knew it was going to happen. That should tell you something, I knew we were going to have some negative pushback from having a unified response over what's going on.

"That's the problem, that's a problem."

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