Liverpool's LGBTQ+ fan group Kop Outs! have sent a scathing response to Jordan Henderson's now infamous interview.
Henderson sat down with the Athletic for a wide-ranging interview, which was published on Tuesday, addressing all aspects of his summer transfer to Al Ettifaq.
This included being questioned on why he had chosen to play in Saudi Arabia, a country where homosexuality remains illegal, despite his championing of inclusivity issue while Liverpool captain.
Henderson famously wore a rainbow armband and laces as part of the Stonewall campaign and was a public advocate for the LGBTQ+ community from within men's football.
Addressing the criticism he has faced over his move to Saudi Arabia, Henderson told interviewers Adam Crafton and David Ornstein that he 'can understand the anger' but claimed that his being in the country is a 'positive thing'.
The wide-ranging interview went down like a lead balloon with many fans online, with Henderson strongly denying he moved to Al Ettifaq for the money but struggling to square his personal beliefs and previous advocacy with the country of his new employers.
Reacting to Henderson's words on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), Kop Outs! suggested that the 33-year-old was focussed on patching up his own branding.
No acceptance by Henderson of his role in sportswashing, trying to disguise the disgusting Saudi human rights record. This sounds more like an attempt to rebuild his "brand", sorry isn't good enough @JHenderson, actions speak louder than words. https://t.co/JGOI5fY55f
— Kop Outs! 🌈⚽🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@LFC_LGBT) September 5, 2023
The group wrote: "No acceptance by Henderson of his role in sportswashing, trying to disguise the disgusting Saudi human rights record. This sounds more like an attempt to rebuild his 'brand', sorry isn't good enough @JHenderson, actions speak louder than words."
Following the completion of £12m transfer back in July, England LGBTQ+ fan group 3 Lions Pride vowed to remove their banner of the former Sunderland star, branding him a 'sell out', while Thomas Hitzlsperger – the former Everton and Aston Villa midfielder who came out in 2013 – tweeted questioning whether Henderson's activism was ever genuine.