Reggie Cannon: FC Dallas wanted him to apologize for calling fans' behavior 'disgusting'

Aug. 12 was supposed to be a form of liberation for U.S. international Reggie Cannon.

After more than five months off, Cannon and his FC Dallas teammates were set to play Nashville SC in the first game back for both teams. COVID-19 outbreaks -- Cannon was among the players infected -- forced both teams to withdraw from the MLS is Back Tournament without playing a game a month earlier, and the match was the first of three makeup games to be played by the two teams.

Since FC Dallas opened Toyota Park to a small group of fans, the national anthem was played before the match, as per MLS's policy. And since it was the first game for FC Dallas and Nashville SC since the killing of George Floyd resulted in an outpouring of support for Black Lives Matter and protests against racial injustice, the players on both teams agreed to kneel during the playing of the anthem.

A few fans threw objects on the field, and others booed the players.

After the game, which FC Dallas lost, 1-0, Cannon participated on the postgame Zoom call and called the behavior of the fans "absolutely disgusting" and added it was "disgraceful" that fans booed after MLS and everyone around the league was on board with the players' protest. He admitted he was upset, given the circumstances.

"You can't even have support from your own fans in your own stadium," he said. "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 s*** for us. Absolute s***. We have to watch other people play soccer, and we're just sitting home unfortunately contracting COVID from the unfortunate situations that we were put in. Now an opportunity presented itself to play tonight, and unfortunately we're mad and upset not to get the win, but I was pissed."

In a podcast recorded days later but just released, Cannon told former U.S. men’s national team players DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu, hosts of the Crack Podcast that FC Dallas management unhappy with his comments and “they originally asked me to apologize. They had written out a statement for me that read: 'I apologize to the fans I offended, my choice of words. I let the heat of the moment get to me."

Beasley and Onyewu didn't believe him.

"I kid you not," Cannon said. “I said, ‘With all respect, I’m not apologizing. I didn’t do anything wrong.'"

The next day, FC Dallas issued an unsigned statement. It did not mention Cannon but stated it "supports our players and fans in their right to express themselves in a peaceful manner. The National Anthem was played before last night’s match while the players were on the field which Major League Soccer requires when fans are in attendance. While we understand the decision to stand or kneel for the National Anthem is a polarizing issue, we hope that FC Dallas can be a leader in helping our community accept diverse viewpoints in a respectful way as we all work together in the ongoing fight for racial equality."

As the day went on, threats came pouring in.

“I’ve gotten threats of being lynched in my own city," Cannon told Beasley and Cannon.

He read one of them: “I have the license to conceal carry, and I hope I see you around the streets of Dallas so that I can end your miserable life."

Cannon said the message was -- he had the right to kneel and fans had the right to boo.

“I said the act of you booing was disgusting," said. "I didn’t say you couldn’t do it. I said what you did was disgusting.”

Later in the day, FC Dallas issued a second statement, from chairman Clark Hunt and president Dan Hunt:

"We want to be clear: We love and support Reggie Cannon. The racist comments and death threats he has received are repulsive and unacceptable. There is no place in our sport, or in our country for that matter, for the kind of horrific vitriol Reggie has had to endure today. Hateful or violent threats are never warranted – especially when they are directed toward a member of our FC Dallas family. We will continue to work together – with our players, our coaches and our fans – against racism and in the cause of equality for all."

Cannon played only two more MLS games before being transferred to Portuguese club Boavista.

19 comments about "Reggie Cannon: FC Dallas wanted him to apologize for calling fans' behavior 'disgusting'".
  1. R2 Dad, October 13, 2020 at 2:58 a.m.

    I like "No Room For Racism" as a slogan for football as it detaches the positive and uniting assertion from the divisive political baggage BLM carries in the US.

  2. Kam Siu replied, October 13, 2020 at 10:13 a.m.

    What is so divisive about the phrase "Black Lives Matter"???  It's absolutely BS certain people are equating that to mean other lives don't matter.  Heck, if I'm advocating for preseving the natural habitat for polar bears by saying "Polar Bears Matter", is someone going to retort with "Black Bears Matter" or "All Bears Matter"???  

  3. R2 Dad replied, October 13, 2020 at 11:03 a.m.

    Nothing wrong with the phrase or the concept--the number of people that disagree with this, in a country of 300M, can probably be counted in the thousands. I doubt there are any/many in my state. The organization and the people behind, however, are Marxists. Surely this is common knowledge? And as anyone who can read or remembers the 20th century knows, Marxism has a long and storied history of misery, failure, poverty, oppression and, um, involuntary death. Unconvinced? Talk to an immigrant Russian/Ukranian/Moldovan et al for an education in the harsh implementation of this radical fever dream/nightmare. Yes, the lives of black people matter. BLM, however, is a dumpster fire of division and the EPL has rightly read the tea leaves and used another phrase to support the ideas but not the organization.

  4. frank schoon replied, October 13, 2020 at 11:28 a.m.

    Kam,just for argument sake only, your example using Polar Bears is not right. Polar Bears live seperately from the Brown Bears population. If Polar Bears were living together with the other Bear population than it follows that it would be stupid to assert 'Polar bears' matter since they all live together....'BLM' statement would fit better if it pertains to the African continent but on a continent where it is mixed races it does not...

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, October 13, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.

    R2 Dad, I think you are confusing Marx with Lenin and Trotsky. Marx was essentially a critique of capitalism, pointing out the flaws in unregulated capitalism. The Russian communists under Lenin and trotsky went off on a tangent. Blaming Stalin's cruelty on any political philosphy I think is a mistake. Political philosophy was a fig leaf for a cruel dictator, a pretty small one at that.

  6. R2 Dad replied, October 13, 2020 at 3:51 p.m.

    Bob, we can discuss the shades of evil between the three but for the purposes of a soccer site Marxism = USSR = Leninism = communism = Stalinism. It does deserve mention that historically it's the far left that flips to facism/totalitarianism (not to mention Germany in the 30's), not the right.

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, October 13, 2020 at 11:53 p.m.

    R2 Dad, First facism is a right wing philosophy. Second the USSR's political philosophy really had nothing to do with the oppression in Russia. On paper the USSR had a government based on our own. Their constitution was modeled after ours. The significant difference between the USA and Russion was not philosophical, but rather the fact that Russia had only one political party. The communist party controlled everything while the official government with its communist philosophy was window dressing. The communist party did not practice communism, They were an oligarchy not much differnt than Russias system today. There is a fine line in a putative democracy between 1 political party and 2 political parties.

  8. R2 Dad replied, October 14, 2020 at 12:56 a.m.

    Wow, that's some pretty painful pretzel logic there, Bob, and you're still wrong. Back in the 20th century when words still meant what they meant: USSR - union of soviet SOCIALIST republics. Nazi party  - national SOCIALIST german workers party. You can quibble about the implementation, but for their citizens it all spelled misery.

  9. Kent James replied, October 14, 2020 at 5:11 p.m.

    R2, by your own simplistic logic, the USSR was SOCIALIST (your emphasis), not Marxist.  Bob is right, things are much more complicated than your simplistic equation indicates.  The main problem with the USSR was that is was a totalitarian political system, that tolerated no dissent.  It did also demonstrated that state socialism does not work (or at least the way the Russians did it).  But if you know anything about the Marx, he would have argued that Russia was not ready for a communist revolution, because it was primarily an agrarian society and did not have a developed (or large) working class.  

    As for the BLM movement being a Marxist organization, that too is too simplistic.  While I don't doubt that there are some Marxists in the organization (and at the demonstrations), to claim that the whole movement is Marxist is too simplistic. Most people taking part in the marches are simply protesting police violence (generally) and specifically, police violence against minorities (especially African Americans).

  10. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2020 at 10:41 a.m.

    Kent ,what you say is true there are individuals in the BLM who are not marxists and truly want to protest. One of the founders of the BLM, if you want watch her on Youtube, is an avowed Marxist and that is where this group  leans to....
    Just like in Hitler's days with his Nazi/Fascismk movement, likewise there were innocent fools in the German populace not really understanding the situation or what is the real purpose behind the protests.

    This is similar what happened in Charlottsville. Trump was right when he stated there were some good people on both side of the issue when it comes to the statues..But the mainstream news media saw it as an opening to explain it as 'white supremacy and racist , as the ones who didn't want the statues destroyed. 

  11. Terry Lynch, October 13, 2020 at 7:28 a.m.

    Don't kneel during the anthem.  Do like the EPL does and both teams take a knee for 10 second just before kickoff, if you feel you have to make a statement.

  12. beautiful game replied, October 13, 2020 at 9 a.m.

    If that makes you feel's your choice.

  13. Wallace Wade, October 13, 2020 at 7:36 a.m.

    The National Anthem should only be played before International matches. FC Dallas' Front Office is a disaster. Lamar Hunt would be ashamed. 

  14. Doug Broadie, October 13, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

    Social Injusttice in any form is wrong.  I've been fighting it since the 1960 for Women and Minorities.
    Back when Nixon was President, he founded the war on drugs that was aimed at blacks and hippies because he didn't like them.  He made MaryJane a class 1 drug, although I think nicotine is 10 times more additive.  No one has changed this injustice.  That is one of the main problems with our justice system.  (That and having for profit prisons, what a waste of tax payer money)
    Black Lives do Matter.  But any racism against anyone is wrong.

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, October 13, 2020 at 3:13 p.m.

    In our court rooms, justice wears a blindfold. That is how the system is supposed to work.

  16. John Soares, October 13, 2020 at 6:35 p.m.

     Bob, in the court room perhaps
    But we don't live in a court room.......

    (Borrowed line)

  17. Bob Ashpole replied, October 13, 2020 at 11:57 p.m.

    John, I was speaking literally. The images of justice are blindfolded.

    Access to courts is an important foundation stone of our democracy. My state bar association and I support access directly through donations. Other attorneys donate their time.

  18. John Soares, October 14, 2020 at 12:24 a.m.

    Bob, I met no disrespect.
    You more than most know that while law, justice, fairness should go hand in hand. Sadly too often they do not.

  19. Sean Guillory, October 15, 2020 at 6:38 a.m.

    I think what everyone and including Reggie Cannon is missing is that people felt his actions of kneeling to others were disgusting and he immediately made it out to be racist.  He acted as if others who disagree with him and their biking actions are not to be tolerated.  As a black man, I felt his actions were very disgusting and I would have told him so.  I think he got his feelings hurt and his pride hit a bit.  I am glad though he did not apologize because I don't think he did anything wrong just like I don't think the fans did.  Unfortunate that he can't see that himself.

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