Major League Soccer returned to its home markets on Wednesday, with Nashville winning its first match in franchise history, 1-0, over FC Dallas in the first of a back-to-back matches at Toyota Stadium. The league allowed stadium to host fans at a limited capacity, and what happened before the first whistle caused quite a stir.
As we saw with the MLS is Back Tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, Florida, players, coaches and refs took a knee before games in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The same thing happened in Dallas while the anthem played, and fans in attendance booed.
U.S. men's national team defender and FC Dallas star Reggie Cannon expressed his disappointment after the match that fans would boo them for simply supporting what they believe in.
"You got fans booing you for people taking a stand for what they believe in," Cannon said in his post-match video press conference. "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 from your own fans in your own stadium. It's baffling to me."
Cannon said they requested that the anthem not be played, saying it didn't feel right at this time with the problems the country is facing. MLS declined, aiming to have the anthem played when fans are in attendance.
It's worth noting that fans were allowed into the stadium as long as they social distanced, with a limit of 5,110 fans despite the coronavirus pandemic continuing to greatly impact the country. Only 2,912 attended the match, according to Angel Madison Franco of the Dallas Morning News.
As of Thursday morning, over 166,000 Americans had died from the virus.