Reggie Cannon’s Easter Egg of Controversy

Last night, Buzz tweeted out a link of a podcast I was unfamiliar with suggesting it would be a good listen for anyone a fan of Reggie Cannon.  He didn’t really say why but was assertive enough in his recommendation, I gave it a go. 

What I got was a head rush of, “why had we not heard this before?” The answer to that is maybe coincidental, or maybe, intentional.

Right off the bat, why did I not know that USMNT vets, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu, had a podcast?  Probably because it’s simply called, “The Crack”, but name aside, this particular conversation was enlightening above and beyond the specific reason we’re here.

Setting that aside for a moment, the conversation between DaMarcus, Gooch, and Reggie about ambition, attitudes, and the realities of being a professional footballer was simply great. Lots of quality insight both obvious and to be found inside comments and between the lines. 

I’ve only listened to this one episode, but my guess is there’s more good stuff for anyone hungry for the very niche content of American soccer players who’ve experienced life in Europe.

Now, about 13 minutes into the podcast I had to press stop/rewind because I had to confirm what I just heard.  Reggie Cannon’s claim that the day after the now-infamous “boo’ing incident”, (where, in a post-game conference said he found the boo’ing “disgusting”) FC Dallas originally came to him with a pre-written apology for him to read.

This was a new element to this story we’d previously not heard or been told.  What it did was apply an entirely new layer of controversy. 

Since the start, the club’s poor handling of this matter has at best been puzzling and at worst, damning. 

Putting Reggie in front of the post-game media (Zoom video) call was a terrible mistake. Reggie was hot, the team had just suffered an incredibly embarrassing loss at home, and because he’s essentially in a room by himself talking into a computer cam was asked to react to an inflammatory incident with little to no additional information or time to cool off. It was a PR101 failure of the highest order. 

Subsequently, the club issued the most tepid statement about the incident that Reggie (in this same pod) rightfully equates to the “good people on both sides” language from another culturally notable incident.  In retrospect, this new information about an “apology” shines a whole new light on how FC Dallas and the Hunt family initially wanted to handle this matter. 

We know that Reggie did not (and should not have) apologize and the club later sent out a somewhat better statement, one that one is now tainted.  That second press release said “We love and support Reggie Cannon…” does not feel as sincere knowing they had the audacity to recommend he attempt to repair the situation with the fanbase. 

It’s not clear what happens from here on out.  This was largely an issue in the past, Reggie has moved on and so had the club.  But the decision to delay the release of this interview (whose decision was that? The pod hosts?  Reggie?) as to not complicate or conflict with Reggie’s long-pending move to Europe has re-opened this wound and dumped some chili powder into it. I’m 99% sure there’s a whole bunch more to this story than we know, maybe this will bring it all into the light.

Additional thoughts:

  • This is just Reggie’s side of the story and Dan Hunt needs to present his side. Reggie’s claim is seriously damaging for a family with such deep ties to US Soccer at large, and maybe more problematic – the NFL.
  • This incident had nothing directly to do with Reggie’s move to Europe (specifically Boavista). An unfortunate and inaccurate claim/assumption by many is that, because of the boo’ing, Reggie skipped town. False. FCD had signed Reggie to an extension in the previous months specifically to better set him and the club up for his sale. Reggie had been open to wanting to move to Europe. All of this is clear if you listen to the podcast, and already known for those who closely follow the team.
  • I do wish we’d known about this “apology ask” back at the time it happened. The decision to delay/withhold this info is, in itself, awkward. Reggie was in a tough spot – (a) not wanting to mess up his pending profitable business transaction or (b) call out questionable actions by his employers (who obviously were tied to “a”). Maybe, ultimately Reggie hatched a genius plan: get the best of both results – his move was done and the delayed release of the claim would have its intended effect once he was safely in Portugal.

8 Comments

  1. Yeah, this is troubling. I posted earlier I would like to hear former FCD stars Kellyn Acosta and Atiba Harris thoughts are on this.

  2. So let’s be clear. The club asked Reggie to apologize for his comments in the pst match meeting not for kneeling. A lot of people are leaving that out in talking about this. Reggie is not clear in the interview what it was that he said that fcd found objectionable but it was probably the disgusting comment. I don’t think the club should have asked to do that but employers often expect employees to apologize to rude customers even when its not right.
    It’s not clear from the interview when Reggie told them about the abuse or threats. Was it before or after the apology request ? Was it before or after the first statement? It’s clear that 6 hours after the first statement the Hunts knew about the abuse because they came out and condemned it. If the hunts were unaware of the abuse at the time the first statement was made that would explain both the neutrality of it and seconD subsequent statement.
    Before judging them it would probably be wise to first get those things cleared up instead of just speculating how things happened.

    1. Jim, I’ve added a clarifying line about the purpose of the apology request, as you were correct that they way I wrote it wasn’t clear and could be misconstrued. Thanks. I will push back on a few other of your comments:

      1) Pro athletes are not retail clerks or home service workers. while I understand your point about how employers/employees operate in these matters, I think that is a false equivalence in this particular scenario. Someone threw a bottle on the field, that physical act took the verbal act of boo’ing past the adage of “the customer is always right”. Using your example, an employer asking an employee to apologize to a customer who threw their soft drink at them, as a recation of a non-verbal, indirect action – IMO would never be appropriate.
      2) The timing of the threats: based on Reggie’s claim, the Hunts clearly were in some sort of poorly thought out damage control where they felt the priority was to make nice with the fanbase, which is weird since the number of people who were boo’ing was less than five (out of ~2K). I’d suggest the fact the 2nd statement came out after they became aware of the threats simply puts the Hunts in even a worse light since it should not take threats of violence to support your employee in the first place.
      Very much appreciate your comments, and taking the time and you are right about needing to hear the Hunts version of this story (as I stated in my post). At the time I’m writing this I find it unreal that almost 24 hours have passed and we’ve not heard anything out of the club. I’m hopeful they will at the very least attempt to explain their POV and actions, ASAP.

  3. Don’t agree with your reasoning in 2 and Reggie’s comments are too unspecific to be very helpful here, but no matter.

    I’d like to point out something else that wasn’t part of your post. It was Don Garber and the League that made the decision to play the anthem, even though Reggie and the players had asked him to not do it. FC Dallas didn’t have control over that since it is a league policy. Given that they should’ve known what could happen i think it was a dereliction of duty on Garber’s part to have left the burden of response to this incident on FC Dallas instead of taking ownership of it a at a league level. That’s poor management IMO from the league and maybe a bit cowardly, too.

    1. “Don Garber and The League” asked FCD to play the Nat’l Anthem because… that was protocol before all the other games played? Please. The passive-aggressive manner in which you’re attempting to lay this at Cannon’s feet are, well, disgusting.

  4. I still think that both Reggie and FCD organization owes their fan base an apology. Reggie is now a mute point because he is no longer part of that organization. FCD still owes that apology. It is very clear cut for me. Someone representing the team I have supported for a long time ( since they were Dallas burn and now for the past 5 years as a season ticket holder) and had been proud to call my team insulted me and my fellow FCD friends directly. We are owed an apology.

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