Some fans at the Major League Soccer game between FC Dallas and Nashville SC wasted no time making their voices heard at their first chance to watch team sports live since the coronavirus pandemic began.  Players for both teams were greeted with a few boos Wednesday in Frisco, Texas, when they kneeled during the national anthem.

Just under 3,000 spectators attended the game, and a handful expressed their displeasure with the demonstration. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the first athlete to kneel during the anthem in 2016, but Wednesday was a first for MLS fans as the league previously had a policy that said players had to stand while “The Star-Spangled Banner” played.

“You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium,” Dallas defender Reggie Cannon told reporters after the match. “It’s baffling to me.

“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.”

Other sports can probably expect more of the same when the fans return. Since the killing of George Floyd in May, athletes in every sport have made social justice a priority. Kneeling during the national anthem has become a popular avenue for players to protest police brutality.

No one in the NBA followed Kaepernick’s lead until the league returned in July.  Since then, nearly every player and coach has kneeled for the national anthem as basketball  resumed in a bubble in Orlando, Florida. Several Major League Baseball players have kneeled this season, a significant change for a league that only had one player protest during the anthem in recent years.

The NFL was down to just a handful of players kneeling last year, but that number will almost certainly increase if the leagues start as scheduled in September. 

Fans of other sports might follow the lead of those who booed soccer players in Texas Wednesday. It’s happened before as some fans at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, booed as a few members of the New England Patriots knelt during the anthem before a game in 2017. 

President Trump has never been shy about criticizing players for kneeling during the anthem. Earlier this week, Trump bashed the NBA and said he hopes the NFL doesn’t return if players continue the protests.

“The kneeling has been horrible for basketball,” Trump said on Fox Sports’ “Outkick the Coverage.”

“They’ve had horrible ratings, low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. There was a nastiness about the NBA the way (protesting) was done. The NBA is in trouble, bigger trouble than they understand.”

Attitudes toward kneeling are largely split along party lines. According to a CBS poll last month, 88% of Democrats said kneeling during the anthem is acceptable to protest racial discrimination and 77% of Republicans said it was unacceptable.

Dallas FC might have one of the most Republican fan bases in all of sports. FiveThirtyEight published the findings of a survey in 2017 that said a larger percentage of Dallas Cowboys fans lean Republican than all but two NFL fan bases.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters Wednesday that he expects the team to host fans during home games this year. Will the team known as “America’s Team” receive boos if some players decide to kneel?

Overall, sentiments regarding the protests have shifted in the last few years. A 2017 CNN poll found that 49% of people felt athletes were doing the wrong thing by kneeling during the anthem and that leagues should require athletes to stand. Last month’s CBS poll said 58% of people who responded believe it’s acceptable to kneel during the anthem. 

The NBA isn’t going to host fans before the start of next season, which won’t be any earlier than December. It appears unlikely that fans will attend MLB games before 2021.