MLS statement - 2020 - dark generic image with white 25th season logo

MLS, Hunt family condemn abuse of players who kneel during the national anthem

Major League Soccer has issued a statement reaffirming their support for players who peacefully protest against social injustice and condemning the abuse of any players who choose to protest during the playing of the national anthem.

The statement comes after FC Dallas and Nashville SC players were subjected to abuse for choosing to kneel during the playing of the national anthem ahead of Wednesday night's MLS game in Frisco, Texas. A small number of fans booed the players, a reaction FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon described as "absolutely disgusting." Cannon was subsequently subject to racist abuse on social media.

FC Dallas Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and FC Dallas President Dan Hunt also released a statement supporting Cannon and condemning the abuse.

MLS statement:

During the playing of the National Anthem at last night’s match between FC Dallas and Nashville SC, the players from both clubs and match referees chose to kneel. 

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.

Some of the comments made on social media following the match were appalling. We want to be very clear that 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.

Statement from Clark and 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.


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