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"You have left us feeling hurt and betrayed..." LBGT+ Liverpool fan group produce open letter to Jordan Henderson

"You have left us feeling hurt and betrayed..." LBGT+ Liverpool fan group produce open letter to Jordan Henderson

The Reds skipper has called time on a 12-year career at Anfield.

Kop Outs - Liverpool's official LGBT+ Fans Group have produced an open letter to Jordan Henderson following his controversial move to the Saudi Pro League.

Henderson, 33, called time on a 12-year career at Anfield, choosing to sign for Steven Gerrard's Al Ettifaq in a deal worth £12 million.

The England international will earn a reported £700,000-a-week in the Middle East, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal with the club.

However, his decision has not come without criticism. Henderson was widely considered as one of the Premier League's strongest allies with the LGBT+ community, helping to condemn LGBT+ phobia within football.

But he has since moved to a country where being homosexual or transgender is against the law.

Kop Outs founder, Paul Amann, has now addressed Henderson's move in an open letter to the former Reds skipper for the Liverpool Echo.

"An open letter to Jordan Henderson," the message reads.

"We have previously thanked you for your solidarity with LGBT+ people. We’ve massively appreciated your choice to include us in programmes, and to condemn LGBT+ phobia. We have cheered you on as a Liverpool player and valued you as a captain that has brought every cup home for us.

"Your values seemed the perfect fit for our city and for our club. You spoke in an authentic way about equality, about dignity and human decency. You spent 12 years with us, delivering performances on and off the pitch that saw you lauded. You were nominated as a British LGBT Ally of the year, based on the allyship you proclaimed.

"You had the opportunity to leave Liverpool with a proper Anfield send off. Your very well paid contract had another 2 years to run. Players of your age and ability are still sought after by clubs across the world not located in oppressive regimes. You had the chance to demonstrate to your family, teammates, fans and the footballing world that footballers can be principled and stand by their convictions.

"Your choice to take up a contract with Saudi Arabian based Al-Ettifaq flies in the face of the values you have previously publicly championed. In Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International has found the following:

"Torture used as a punishment.

"Executions on the rise.

"No free speech.

"No protests.

"Women are widely discriminated against.

"Torture in police custody is common.

"You can be arrested and detained for no good reason.

"Religious discrimination is rife.

"Migrant works have been deported en masse.

"Human rights organisations are banned.

"Additionally, homosexuality can result in the death penalty. This is a far cry from the values you have previously publicly championed.

"For raising these concerns about your decision to go, Kop Outs has seen many decent people amplify our messages. Sadly, this has also seen some vile messages posted to us, by so called fans supportive of your decision to go to Saud Arabia.

"Your choice to side with our oppressors has seen most of members absolutely shocked and angry. Many find this choice unforgivable.

"You will always be a legend, a captain who brought home everything. However, as a man, your failure to keep to the principles you championed leaves you much diminished.

"You’re not the first to go, and may not be the last. It is deeply concerning that Gerrard has gone, especially given he had a former teammate Robbie Rogers who was an out gay man, such a betrayal of trust to a former teammate. Robbie Fowler’s choice to manage in Saudi Arabia is also deeply disappointing. There were other options for all concerned to ply their trade in places not mired in human rights breaches. Options to play and manage in places with perhaps more sustainable football leagues. Fulham’s Marco Silva has twice turned down offers to play, and has stuck by his principles.

"At Kop Outs we are concerned that the movement of players and managers to Saudi Arabia will have a chilling effect on the likelihood of players to show their future support for LGBT+ rights. They may worry that their words may come back to haunt them if they also seek to go to a place like Saudi Arabia.

"Actions speak louder than words. Your choice has left many Kop Outs members feeling hurt and betrayed, as your actions have left your words questioned. If you want to be an ally, be active, and be consistent."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter @Ettifaq / Getty

Topics: Liverpool, Jordan Henderson, Football, Saudi Pro League, Steven Gerrard, Premier League