England LGBT fans tell Harry Maguire he’s WRONG to dub supporters who boo ‘Saudi sell-out’ Jordan Henderson as ‘not proper fans’ and accuse Three Lions players of ‘trying to silence us’
- Jordan Henderson was booed by fans when he was subbed off against Australia
- Maguire hit out at the jeers and insisted those booing were ‘not proper fans’
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Harry Maguire has been slammed by England’s LGBT supporters after claiming those that booed Jordan Henderson were ‘not proper fans’.
The former Liverpool captain was jeered by fans when he was subbed off against Australia on Friday. It was his first England game at Wembley since making a controversial move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq in the summer, where he reportedly earns £700,000-per-week.
Henderson has been criticised for moving to the nation in the summer given Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the fact homosexuality is illegal in the country, with the midfielder previously a big advocate for LGBTQ+ rights during his time at Anfield.
Maguire was one of a number of Three Lions players to defend Henderson, but the centre back was criticised by Three Lions Pride – which is a fan group for LGBTQ+ England supporters – who were among those to boo Henderson.
‘Fans have a valid voice, and ultimately there are many actions that fans can take to show their distaste with players, teams or owners,’ they told The Mirror.
Harry Maguire has been slammed by an England LGBT supporters group after claiming those that booed Jordan Henderson during the game against Australia were ‘not proper fans’
Henderson has been criticised for moving to Saudi Arabia given their human rights record and the fact that homosexuality is illegal after previously a big advocate for LGBTQ+ rights
‘We’ve seen superb fan action across the game in relation to all of these aspects in the past.
‘Booing is never something that fans wish to do to their own team, but it is indicative of the strength of feeling around this issue and Henderson’s choices. It is clear that it is not just LGBT+ fans who think that he is a Saudi sellout.
‘To say that fans who follow this team loyally home and away, and at great personal expense, are not ‘proper’ fans gatekeeps the game – how else would Maguire like fans to register their distaste?
‘There’s a lack of interest in listening to the dialogue or nuance that fans and fan groups have spent their free time raising and unfortunately that means that the only way to be heard is with direct action.’
The group also accused Maguire and his team-mates of attempting to silence them and of taking football back to a time where LGBT+ fans were ostracized.
They added: ‘Gatekeeping football to what a player believes makes a ‘proper’ fan harks back to a time where LGBT+ fans weren’t welcome and excludes people from the beautiful game. Fans are the soul of the game, without us there is no atmosphere.
‘Attempting to silence our voice can only create a hollow environment. Why do members of the England squad feel the need to diminish the voice of fans because they seemingly don’t agree?
‘Our views are very open and clear, for anyone to see. And, as always, our door remains open to constructive conversations should anybody in the England set up wish to engage.’
Commenting on the booing after Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Italy – where some jeering of Henderson could be heard as he came on in the second half – Maguire had said: ‘Proper England fans don’t boo players.
‘Don’t boo players who dedicate their life to play and do everything they can to make this country have good memories and have special moments for them and their families.
‘You heard when he came on the cheers and a few jeers, but they aren’t England fans.’
Southgate had also defended the 33-year-old after the Australia game as he claimed the midfielder being booed ‘defied logic’.
Henderson moved to Saudi side Al-Ettifaq, where he reportedly earns £700,000-per-week
Gareth Southgate said after England’s win over Australia that boos for Henderson ‘defied logic’
‘I really don’t understand it,’ said Southgate. ‘He is a player who has won 79 caps for England. His commitment and what he has delivered for England is exceptional.
‘His role within the group both on and off pitch is phenomenally important.
Southgate rejected the suggestion that the boos were because Henderson recently posted in support of Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the World Cup in 2034. ‘What does that have to do with supporting a guy that’s wearing an England shirt?
‘I don’t know where we are really heading with everything,’ he said before adding sarcastically: ‘I am hugely impressed with the impeccable values and decisions that everyone in our country is making now. I don’t understand it.’
Reflecting on the treatment he received, Henderson told Channel 4: ‘Of course it hurts because every time you pull on shirt it’s a proud moment, playing for team-mates, country and fans really.
‘Of course it hurts but that’s part and parcel of it, I have had enough criticism over career to have stuff like that.
‘I asked that question after the game and a journalist said it’s because I play in Saudi Arabia. That’s a decision I made few months ago but it doesn’t change who I am as a person.’
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