Jordan Henderson has sparked fresh outrage after admitting he would not “disrespect” a country that criminalizes homosexuality by wearing a rainbow armband or garter belt there.
Henderson has broken his silence on the most controversial summer transfer he has witnessed He left Liverpool to join the Saudi Al-Ettifaq team Despite being a longtime advocate for LGBT rights.
In an extensive interview with the athleteHenderson denied putting money before morality by signing a lucrative contract to move to the Gulf state and faced the matter The anger caused by his decision among the LGBT+ community by saying, “I’m sorry they feel that way.”
Liverpool LGBT+ fan group, Kop Outs!, posted on X:
The group’s English equivalent, 3 Lions Pride, warned last week that members could turn their backs on Henderson if he played for his country during the international break after he “turned his back on standing up for human rights”.
“It hurts to hear that,” Henderson said, but the group responded: “If the criticism ‘really hurts’ you, just imagine the pain you feel while you are being criminalized, punished, and causing state-sanctioned abuse. Valid criticism does not replace the truth of your decisions.
Speaking about the backlash towards his LGBTQ+ transition, Henderson said, “I can understand the anger. I get it. All I can say about it is I’m sorry they feel that way. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. It was It is always my intention to help the causes and communities where I feel they have asked for my help.
Henderson explained that he reached the decision after asking himself what would change if he rejected the offers of the Saudi Professional League, claiming, “We can all bury our heads in the sand and criticize different cultures and different countries from afar. But after that nothing will happen. Nothing will change.”
But when asked if he would continue to show public support for the LGBTQ+ community by wearing rainbow armbands or armbands, he said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility but was determined not to “disrespect religion and culture in Saudi Arabia,” he said. He wanted “everyone’s respect.”
The 33-year-old said: “By doing something like this [wearing rainbow armbands or laces]If it offends religion, then no, I will not do that.”
While Amnesty International responded to his comments in a statement: Respecting the religion and culture of a country should not mean turning a blind eye to gross violations of human rights such as criminalizing homosexuality or imprisoning human rights defenders.
Henderson also refused to condemn a video his new club posted on social media announcing his arrival, which showed him wearing a The rainbow badge was in grey.
He said: I did not know anything about him until he left. It is difficult for me to know and understand everything because it is part of the religion. So, if you wear a rainbow badge, if that doesn’t respect their religion, that’s not right either.
Henderson, the man who led the Anfield side to their first Premier League title – and their first English championship in 30 years – as well as their sixth European Cup win, has also hit back at suggestions he put money above his morals. People will see this club comes with a lot of money and he just left, ‘Yeah, I’m going’. While in reality it was not like that at all.
He insists that money has never been a motivator for him during his career and although he accepts that financial transactions are a big part of football, the main reason for the move was a feeling of “desire” and “appreciation”.
He said he would not have left Liverpool and would have stayed to fight for his place if Jurgen Klopp or the owners of Fenway Sports Group had urged him to do so, adding: “At no time did I feel wanted at the club.”
Recounting the events leading to the end of his 12 years at Anfield, Henderson said “there were a few things that sent alarm bells off” when the deal was not rejected. “The club’s response again was not to say no. At that moment I felt as if my value or desire to stay, with the manager and within the club, might have changed.