Candid Conversations: Sports' Role in Healing Racial Tension


As FC Dallas continues to focus on creative positive change surrounding the racial injustice members of our community face, the club launched the first of its Candid Conversations series on Thursday. Head coach Luchi Gonzalez, defender Reggie Cannon, goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, midfielder Fafa Picault and Dallas Police Department Community Affairs Manager Joli Robinson joined Gina Miller for an open discussion on the racism they’ve faced and the opportunities they have to be a part of the healing process.

Cannon shared a story that, for him, was in itself an opportunity to heal. His stepfather’s brother died during a traffic stop years ago. He was pulled over on a bridge, pushed by the office, fell into oncoming traffic and lost his life.

“I’ve met good people (in law enforcement) but it still makes me fearful of the system that we’re living in because I don’t want that to happen to any of my family,” Cannon said.

Fafa Picault recalled moments when he experienced overt racism while playing in Italy.

“You have different forms of racism. I’ve dealt with it differently in differently locker rooms,” Picault recalled. “I would have monkey stickers posted in my locker at times.”

“The easiest part was the soccer.”

Robinson understands that law enforcement officials are a critical part of the process as we all look for ways to heal.

“We have to do business differently. We have to acknowledge the pain from even the past, from the civil rights movement,” Robinson added. “We have to acknowledge the wrongdoing in our history as law enforcement agencies. We have to apologize and reconcile with that.”

For more information or to participate in the next episode of FC Dallas’ Candid Conversation series, please email