FC Dallas, Nashville SC Players to Remain in Locker Room During National Anthem

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

FC Dallas fans celebrate a goal against Minnesota United during an MLS soccer match in Frisco, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The players of FC Dallas and Nashville SC will remain in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem ahead of Sunday's MLS regular-season game between the teams. 

Angel Madison of the Dallas Morning News shared the statement from FC Dallas:

Angel Madison Franco @angelmadison_

MLS & FC Dallas announce players will remain in the locker room while national anthem is played before today’s match: https://t.co/xeMHkzVFZp

Players from both clubs chose to kneel during the anthem in protest of systemic racism and police brutality before Wednesday's match between the teams and were met with some boos from the Dallas fans. One person, who was ejected from the stadium, threw a bottle onto the pitch. 

"You can't even have support from your own fans in your own stadium," FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said, per ESPN. "It's baffling to me. 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."

He added: "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."

FC Dallas later said Cannon had been the recipient of "racist comments and death threats" following the match. Both the club and MLS Commissioner Don Garber released statements condemning those comments and threats:

FC Dallas @FCDallas


Don Garber @thesoccerdon


Nashville will be looking to follow up Wednesday's 1-0 win when the teams meet again Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. ET.