Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), who left the English Premier League (EPL) for the Saudi Arabian league after captaining Liverpool and serving as the club’s face, has admitted that he was hurt by the criticism he received from fans afterward.
Speaking to The Athletic on June 6, Henderson said he was hurt by being labeled a traitor for moving to a league in a country that represses LGBT rights. “I never meant to hurt anyone,” he said, “and I’m sorry if I made you feel that way, but as a human being, I haven’t changed.”
Henderson has been one of the most outspoken advocates for LGBT rights in the EPL. When he moved to the Saudi league, where homosexuality is punishable by death, he was criticized as a traitor. “I wore rainbow shoelaces and had a message on my armband to protect LGBT rights. It breaks my heart to hear that I have betrayed the LGBT community. I have friends and family in the LGBT community,” he said.
However, he also said he has to respect Saudi culture. While he wouldn’t rule out wearing pro-LGBTQ symbols in Saudi Arabia, he added: “If I’m wearing a rainbow armband and I’m disrespecting their religion, that’s not right either. Everyone should respect each other’s religion and culture.” Al Etihad released a video of Henderson’s career on the club’s social media following the announcement of his transfer, blurring out the rainbow armband with gray, which sparked a backlash against Henderson.
Henderson said the reason for his departure was largely down to feeling like Liverpool didn’t want him. “If just one person at Liverpool had said to me, ‘We want you to stay,’ we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now,” he said.메이저놀이터
Henderson reportedly earns a weekly wage of £700,000 ($1.172 billion), more than four times what he earned while playing for Liverpool. “Money has never been a motivator in my career,” he said, adding that he was attracted to the idea of exploring new markets. Despite this explanation, however, local British media outlets such as Sky Sports pointed out that Henderson had failed to convince disappointed fans.