FC Dallas duo Reggie Cannon, Fafa Picault share experiences of being Black in America

FC Dallas duo Fafa Picault and Reggie Cannon continue to speak out on racism and social injustice across their social media platforms and in traditional media. On Thursday, they didn't stop. 

The duo, joined on a roundtable including head coach Luchi Gonzalez, goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and Dallas Police Department’s Joli Robinson, spent an hour talking about racism, police brutality and their experience of being Black in America. 

Cannon and Picault had plenty of thoughts and ample stories to tell regarding their experiences with racism.

"It’s just exhausting," Picault said. "It doesn’t matter where I go, I deal with the same problems. It’s sad that it took a video— it’s nothing new. It took a video of a man getting his neck kneeled on for 8:46 for the world to kind of realize and kind of come together on something that should have been sorted out decades or centuries ago. The fact that it’s taken this long is very disappointing, but at the same time, at least we’re starting. We’re far from close to anything but the first step is realization. Nothing can be more vivid than that video.”

Picault shared his experiences from playing abroad, including a difficult time in Italy dealing with racism. His coach would tell him that Black players were there to run and don't have technique. He said he'd find monkey stickers in his locker and that he got into fistfights multiple times a week over racism. 

He also talked about his morning routine just to get in his car, doing things that white people don't normally consider before turning the key.

"It's not a process of me getting in my car, starting the car and leaving," Picault said. "When I get in the car, I have to check things. If I'm wearing a fitted cap, I put it on the side. If I'm wearing a hoodie, I'll take off my hoodie so I don't appear a certain way. If I have chains on, I'll tuck them in. My wallet is always on the front seat, I don't leave my wallet in my pocket so nobody can say I was reaching for something if I do get pulled over. And then I start my car. I don't just start my car and then go somewhere. It's a small part of my day, but it's tiring." 

Cannon shared his experiences on being in an interracial relationship with his wife, who he married last month. He also shared a harrowing story about his step dad's brother, who was pulled over by a police officer on a bridge. After tensions rose, he was pulled out of the car and the cop pushed him over the bridge where he fell into oncoming traffic and died.

"It's always a tough story to tell," Cannon said. "He told us this story at a young age because he didn't want the same thing that happened to his brother to happen to us." 

The players have the full support of those at FC Dallas. 

"I've only known Fafa for seven or eight months, I'm so proud of him, Reggie and their teammates," Gonzalez said. "They use their platform in such a positive way. Not just representing FC Dallas and helping the team help compete to be a champion, but being champion humans. That's where I'm most proud, these guys are who our youth are looking to." 

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