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FC Dallas vs Nashville SC on Sunday, Aug. 16

FC Dallas vs Nashville SC on Sunday, Aug. 16: Will fans behave this time around?

August 16, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
FC Dallas will host Nashville SC at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Sunday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. ET with fans present on the stands. You can catch coverage of the game through ESPN’s streaming platform, ESPN+.

Dallas and Nashville took the pitch on Wednesday, a day after the culmination of the MLS is Back Tournament, to begin their two-game slate scheduled by the MLS with the purpose to make up for the three group stage games they missed at the tournament in Orlando that counted toward the regular season. But what was supposed to be a sweet time for both sides given that they had not played ball in five months turned sour very quickly. 

Before the game, players from both parties asked for the anthem not to be played before kickoff, the same way it was not played at all 51 games at the MLS is Back Tournament. Dallas center back Reggie Cannon said that the group did not feel it was right "for the anthem to be played in this moment." 

Following the players' request, Dallas asked MLS for permission to not play the anthem. However, MLS insisted otherwise. 

Before the regular season restart, the league announced that the standard pregame procession, including the national anthem and new MLS anthem, would take place if fans were sitting on the stands, and that was the case on Wednesday evening. 

The anthem was played as players collectively took a knee, an action that ignited boos amongst the 2,000 plus fans present on the night. One fan was even kicked out of the premise for throwing a water bottle onto the pitch. 

Nashville went on to win their first-ever MLS game, defeating FC Dallas 1-0 thanks to forward David Accam's late goal. 

Cannon was irritated at the post-match conference, not by the result but by the scenes before the game. 

FC Dallas released two statements after the game. The first one is an explanation of why the anthem was played and voicing their support for players and fans' right to express themselves peacefully. 

Of course, this initial statement caught on fire as many believed that the club was soft on the fans who acted disrespectfully and did not back the players enough. A second statement, this time by club chairman Clark and CEO Dan Hunt, defended Cannon and the players. The announcement said that Cannon received racists comments as well as death threats. 

MLS commissioner Don Garber was appalled by the comments made by users on social media and reiterated that the league does not tolerate any abuse or threats to any player or team who decides to protest peacefully. 

FC Dallas and Nashville SC will meet again on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET with fans on the stands. Nashville will travel to Frisco, Texas, with hopes to secure their second win in franchise history. 

On the other hand, Dallas will hope to avenge their loss on Wednesday to stay away from the bottom of the Western Conference standings. The Toros sit in tenth place with two games in hand. 

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