LGBTQ+ supporters set to stage protest during England football clash with Ukraine


LGBTQ+ community members will protest when England lock horns with Ukraine on Saturday night

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 09/09/2023

- 07:30

Gareth Southgate's side are looking to continue their fine form as they look to qualify for next summer's European Championships

LGBTQ+ supporters are preparing to protest against Jordan Henderson's move to Saudi Arabia when England lock horns with Ukraine on Saturday night.

Henderson angered the group when he opted to join Al-Ettifaq this summer from Premier League giants Liverpool.

The 33-year-old regularly advocated for LGBTQ+ rights during his time on Merseyside.

He has been widely criticised for moving to a country where homosexuality is considered a crime and punishable by death.

Jordan Henderson Liverpool

Jordan Henderson often advocated for LGBTQ+ rights during his time as a Liverpool player


And the LGBTQ+ community are set to protest against Henderson by turning their backs during the match at Wembley.

Group Three Lions Pride feel the player has let them down and damaged his reputation by choosing to move to Saudi.

Co-chair of the group, Joe White, told The Mirror: "Having spoken to some of our members, there was a real sense of disappointment.

"There was a question on whether people were intending to boo and the original intention was to try to focus on being supportive of the team.

"But if we wanted to make a stand, then turning our backs is quite a symbolic move, particularly given how the community has felt.

"Since his interview [with the Athletic earlier in the week], that may well change.

"I would imagine people are more likely to boo or show an audible distaste.

"There are members attending who we've spoken to and told the position of the group, which is to turn backs.

"If they want to boo that's a personal decision. The issue with booing when you're part of the England fan movement, it could also turn other fans against you who might not know the reasons behind it.

"That was why our position as a group is turning backs.

"[It] is done in a way that still respects the England team, but makes the point quite clearly that we don't have respect for Jordan anymore."

Henderson defended himself earlier in the week, giving an interview insisting he hadn't meant to cause offence.

But White thinks the former Liverpool star has sparked more of a backlash as a result of speaking out.

"I think it will possibly be more angry in these fixtures because of the interview that has just been released," he added.

"That has wound people up more. If it was done as damage limitation or trying to restore any semblance of understanding, it has done the opposite.

"I don't know anyone in the group who hasn't said that they had to stop and read it in parts because they were getting so frustrated and angry with it. The issue with it is there are so many contradictions throughout what he's saying.

"It feels like he's trying to do some somersaulting now to almost work it out himself. It was a mixture of some of it didn't make sense, some of it was very naive on what he thinks.

"And some of it made the conversations we've had before with him really feel a lot less genuine.

"That is the bit that has hurt people more than anything else. It's diminished what he's previously done because his justifications of some of the things don't add up with what he's said before."

White also has no sympathy for Henderson feeling 'hurt' after the England midfielder detailed his torment.


England Jordan Henderson

England star Jordan Henderson has angered fans by moving to Saudi Arabia


"Jordan is the perfect example that unless you're affected by these issues, you don't really understand or comprehend the full extent of how this impacts. He comments when told about our protest that he was 'very hurt'," he continued.

"Well, in Saudi Arabia, LGBT+ people's feelings aren't just hurt, they can be killed.

"Our door, like with any England player at any level, is always open, as long as it's for a constructive conversation.

"We're here to help. That's one of the purposes of the group.

"It's to help people understand why we exist, what we're here for and what people can do to help. Our message has been consistent.

"Even though we're criticising his move, our door is always open to discuss why to try to come up to a point of understanding."

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