Jordan Henderson heavily criticised over controversial Saudi announcement video
Al-Ettifaq obscured his rainbow captain's armband in an apparent message to the LGBTQ+ community.
Jordan Henderson has received widespread criticism from both football fans and former players online following his unveiling video as an Al-Ettifaq player.
In the video, a montage of Henderson's best moments as a Liverpool player is run through, but with the very noticeable edit of obscuring his rainbow captain's armband in each photo.
The former Liverpool captain has in the past spoken out about his support for the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2019, he said:
"The idea that anybody I love and care about wouldn't feel safe or comfortable coming to watch me play if they were part of the LGBTQ+ community makes me wonder about the world we live in."
However, in signing for Steven Gerrard's Saudi side, the England midfielder has done just that, with the Middle Eastern state possessing an archaic law which states homosexuality as illegal.
Jordan Henderson joins Al Ettifaq on 3 year contract — official, confirmed 🇸🇦 pic.twitter.com/UlQyxIrbGn
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 27, 2023
Reaction to controversial Jordan Henderson announcement.
Reacting to the announcement video, former Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger said;
"So, Jordan Henderson finally gets his move to Saudi Arabia. Fair play to him, he can play wherever he wants to play. Curious to know though how the new brand Jordan Henderson will look like. The old one is dead! I did believe for a while that his support for the gay community would be genuine. Silly me..."
Former German international Hitzlsperger came out as gay after he retired from football, and has since become an advocate within the community.
Similarly, the director of campaign group Stonewall, Robbie De Santos, who are behind the Premier League's 'Rainbow Laces' initiative, declared the video "shocking", saying;
"I was shocked but not surprised at such blatant erasure of the LGBTQ+ community through that and it shines a light on just how systematic the Saudi authorities and the prevailing culture is."
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