US men’s national team full-back Reggie Cannon said his security had been compromised because of speaking up about racial tensions in the US.
Cannon speaks with The guardadded that his perception of the US has changed since joining Portuguese team Boavista in September 2020.
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Cannon left FC Dallas in September with a reported € 3m move to Boavista. Since then, the US has had a tumultuous election campaign followed by one Uprising in the Capitol and the second impeachment trial against former US President Donald Trump.
He said the abuse included, “Threatened to kill your family, threatened to show up at your house, threatened to do vulgar things to you, I can’t tell. It’s unfortunately part of the society that America is today. Especially when Trump was in command, now we’ve passed it.
Cannon is confident that US politics will soon change. “I don’t think a man can repair the damage done,” he said of President Joe Biden, who has been in office since January 20 [the U.S.], that’s a big problem that people don’t want to admit.
He said his views on America had changed “a hundred million percent” since arriving in Europe.
“When I watch the riot, Texas is freezing right now … explaining to my teammates what is going on in the country confuses me. Explaining the America I lived in to those who don’t live in America feels I am describing the Middle Ages, “said Cannon.
Cannon was frustrated with the reaction of Dallas FC fans to the events following the death of George Floyd in May and the nationwide protests that followed. Fans were booed as players dropped a knee during the pre-game national anthem. FCD then asked Cannon to apologize.
“It’s such a polarizing problem when you get involved, but we knew we had to do something that would lead to conversation and that was the perfect opportunity,” said the 22-year-old. “People were against violent protest, they were against peaceful protest, but they weren’t against any of it, they were against us, we spoke to point out the injustices my people have faced for a long time.”
Cannon said he felt that the situation with Dallas was being handled terribly and that there was an impact.
“But my career has not been affected and I can get to the next level in time,” he added.
Texas, where Cannon spent four years on the Dallas FC books, saw a brutal winter storm last month in February that caused more than 70 deaths, leaving people without electricity, heat and water amid a pandemic.
Cannon’s grandfather, Warren M. Washington, is a renowned scientist who specializes in climate change and was awarded the National Medal of Science by former US President Barack Obama.
“Even now that people in America are still opposed to climate change, I’m looking at the work my grandfather did to scientifically prove that a lot exists, and it’s a threat that is coming – it’s really incredible to see the groundbreaking work he did especially as an African American in his day, “he said.
“He crossed a lot of boundaries and was very motivating for my career, so people can’t hold me down because he had to go through everything to get to the level he is; to shake Obama’s.” Hand to win this medal, to prove the opposite to scientists, that an African American can do it. “