MLS players booed in Texas after they take knee during anthem

MLS players booed in Texas after they take knee during anthem
© Nashville SC

Major League Soccer players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC were met with some boos from a small crowd after they took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before a match Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas.

The boos came as MLS for the first time allowed up to 5,000 fans to attend the game in the 20,500-seat stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines, with estimates showing a smaller number attending.

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

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"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.

Players across professional sports have largely taken a knee during the national anthem in an effort to bring attention to racial injustice following the May 25 police killing of unarmed African American George Floyd.

Mass protests have followed since, with professional sports from soccer to baseball to hockey to basketball showing support for Black Lives Matter in various forms. The demonstrations have also taken place in other countries. 

Floyd's death sparked the forming of Black Players for Change by a number of MLS players.

Cannon said he was anticipating some negative reaction from fans over kneeling before the anthem.

"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.

Nashville prevailed over Dallas, 1-0. The two teams play again on Sunday.