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Fans Turn on Professional Athletes, Booing Loudly as They Kneel for Anthem

Is this the “new normal”?

2020 has already been one of the strangest years that the sports world has ever seen, and there’s no telling what lies in wait for us over the course of the next four months.

Thanks to the still-raging coronavirus crisis here in the United States, sports fans in America have only a fraction of the action that they are accustomed to.  Nearly every major sports league in the nation are abbreviating their seasons, and playing in front of little to no spectators at all…and that’s when they get to play at all.  MLB has already seen an obscene number of games postponed or canceled on account of COVID-19 outbreaks among team members, and there are sure to be more where that came from as the season progresses.

For MLS, the answer to making up games lost in the earlier part of the year was to hold the “MLS is Back” tournament in the bubble of ESPN’s Orlando facilities.  Now that several of the teams are back playing in their own stadiums, some of which will feature a limited capacity of fans, the league appears destined to face another controversy as well.

There was a smattering of boos when players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC collectively took a knee during the national anthem before their MLS game on Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas.

Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said he was disgusted by the boos at Toyota Stadium when players and officials knelt to call attention to racial injustice. He said teammate Ryan Hollingshead turned to him afterward and said he was sorry.

“You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me,” Cannon said. “As a team we try to give the best possible product on the field and these last six months have been absolute hell for us. Absolute hell.”

During the MLS is Back tournament, players had asked the league to abstain from playing The Star Spangled Banner, stating that they did not find it appropriate at the time.

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