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19th Oct 2023

England LGBT fans say Maguire is wrong to criticise Jordan Henderson boos

Callum Boyle

England Maguire Henderson

Henderson was booed in both England games during the international break

England’s LGBT supporters have hit out at Harry Maguire after he criticised those who chose to boo Jordan Henderson during the international break.

Henderson was subjected to boos from large sections of the England crowds during their games against Australia and Italy. It was the 33-year-old’s first games at Wembley since moving to Saudi Pro League side, Al Ettifaq.

The former Liverpool man has been under immense criticism after his decision to move to a country with a notoriously poor human rights record given his previous work as a strong advocate for equality and close connections to the LGBT community.

Maguire was one of a number of people to question the fans’ decision to boo Henderson however his comments were shut down by Three Lions Pride – fan group for England LGBTQ+ supporters.

“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. 

“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 then also said that they felt like those who had criticised them were trying to silence their voice.

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.”

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