Soccer For All

Real Salt Lake's Corey Baird critical of booing during moment of silence prior to match vs Colorado Rapids

Corey Baird kneeling - Real Salt Lake - September 12, 2020

As has been the case during all MLS matches since the regular season restarted in home markets, referees and players from Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids took a knee during a moment of silence before kickoff of their Week 11 match at Rio Tinto Stadium. It was the latest show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against racism and police brutality against the Black community.

RSL forward Corey Baird was seen during the match broadcast shaking his head in disapproval at the booing by a small number of fans at the stadium and after the match he shared his thoughts via Twitter:

MLS took a strong stance in a similar incident that occurred during an FC Dallas-Nashville SC match and against which then FC Dallas player Reggie Cannon spoke publicly.

The league strongly condemned the fan behavior: "As we have stated consistently over many years, Major League Soccer supports players and staff who protest peacefully on behalf of equality and social justice ... MLS will not tolerate any abuse or threats to any individual player or team who decides to exercise their right to peaceful protest during the playing of the National Anthem or any other pre-game ceremony."

The moment of silence with players and referees taking a knee right before kickoff has become a regular scene at soccer matches played around the world.

The Black Players for Change organized a powerful protest before the first match at the MLS is Back Tournament, the first occasion for MLS players to return to the field after the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police led to protests and shows of support against racism and social injustice around the globe.