Jerry Jones appears intent on having fans at AT&T Stadium for Dallas Cowboys games. But he might have gotten a taste of what the crowd reaction to players kneeling for the national anthem will be.
On Wednesday, FC Dallas played against Nashville SC in the MLS’ first games in front of local crowds since the pandemic began. During the national anthem, though, players from both teams kneeled to show solidarity with racial justice movements.
The crowd at Toyota Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Frisco didn’t take kindly to the demonstration. There were audible boos coming from the crowd, which consisted of a few hundred fans.
After the game, FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon, who is African-American, expressed his disappointment with the crowd. He was upset to see that fans treated the team that way after months of “absolute hell” and called it “incredibly frustrating.”
Via the Associated Press:
“You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me,” Cannon said. “As a team we try to give the best possible product on the field and these last six months have been absolute hell for us. Absolute hell.”
“We had someone chanting U.S.A., 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… It hurts me because I love our fans, I love this club, and I want to see the support that the league has given us, that everyone has given us, from our fans.”
“It hurts me because I love our fans, I love this club, and I want to see the support that the league has given us, that everyone has given us, from our fans,” he said.
MLS returned to play in July with the MLS is Back Tournament. But FC Dallas and Nashville SC were forced to withdraw due to COVID-19 complications.
There will almost certainly be NFL players kneeling for the anthem during the 2020 regular season. And if there are fans at AT&T Stadium booing the players, things could get messy.