FC Dallas President Dan Hunt joined play by play announcer Mark Followill before Wednesday’s game with Sporting Kansas City to address recent news regarding former FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon.
Hunt spoke in response to the news that Reggie Cannon revealed he was approached by FC Dallas staff to apologize for labeling the actions of a group of fans ‘disgusting’ during the team’s first game against Nashville in August. The comments were in relation to a small section of fans that booed the peaceful demonstration against racism by both teams, and a bottle was thrown on to the field.
For fans that missed Hunt’s statement as the players entered the field, here is the full transcript:
“First, I want to be clear on this. There were no written comments that were pushed upon Reggie, that’s really inconsistent with our values here at this club and that kind of taking away a freedom of speech has really bad implications,” said Hunt. “That’s something that we are not associated with. That’s not in our core values for me and my brother Clark, and I was sorry to hear those comments.
“We met with Reggie the day after the game and talked to him about upcoming media opportunities. and how he wanted to go through this and provide different opportunities, and he declined those opportunities. Those are well within his right, and we respect them. We love Reggie cannon. He’s an unbelievable young man. He was a great player here. And I was just sorry to hear that, because that’s just not consistent with our core values of FC Dallas, we would never push a written statement upon somebody that disagreed with that with their stance was on something.”
Followill would go on to ask Hunt’s opinion on the narrative that the incidents in August may have influenced Cannon’s departure.
“There’s no truth to that,” said Hunt. “Reggie came to us with a plan wanting to go to Europe about 18 months before, and we worked with him after his contract extension. And we gave him our word that if an offer came, and it was acceptable – and this was obviously pre COVID – that we would transfer him.
“Obviously, the offer wasn’t quite what we expected. But it was a great opportunity for Reggie. We were worried a little bit at first because it’s a new league, new opportunity, but Boavista had made the commitment to sign players, including… There was talk of Alberth Elis going, so we want to make sure and they had a plan to play Reggie Cannon. You can’t have players go to international teams and not play. That totally destroys their development, and so Boavista had a great plan. Reggie wanted to do it and Clark and I lived up to our word Reggie cannon which was to transfer him.”
Hunt’s comments on the transfer timeframe are in line with 3rd Degree’s reporting of Cannon’s move to Portugal.
nice recap of the situation, Dan……..seems to be no question that throwing a bottle is not a peaceful protest but is booing considered a peaceful protest? You needed to label the kneeling a peaceful protest, which I agree that it is, but failed to label the booing. Just wondering. I was there on the east side, I did not hear the booing but my son did. I did hear a USA chant by a few, so maybe the boo was directed at the method and not the message but only those that did it know the answer to that. As a follow up question, any thoughts on the differences between what the club said what happened and what Reggie said what happened. What would each sides motivation be? Thanks for your time, your podcast is very insightful and appreciate the hard work put into it. Wish soccer would have stayed out of the political arena, understand the need for change, it just tends to get lost. Protests bring attention, but action brings the change, forced compliance brings resistance.
Sorry if the wording isn’t clear but the intention is to describe the kneeling as peaceful protest.
Thanks for the kind words, and I’m sure we’ll discuss those differences in Dan and Reggie’s views when we record later today.
Regardless of what anyone defines as political, soccer and social issues have always gone hand-in-hand. From Celtic being established to help feed Glasgow’s poor immigrants in 1888, to Barcelona being a symbol of resistance against Franco’s fascist regime through most of the 20th Century. Buzz has always remained neutral on what goes into print and that’s why we presented Dan’s quotes without any kind of opinion on the rights and wrongs of players, fans, and owners alike.