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Jill Scott calls out Jordan Henderson as England fans make feelings known towards him

Jill Scott calls out Jordan Henderson as England fans make feelings known towards him at during the game against Ukraine on Saturday.
The ex-Lioness star was on punditry duties for the game, but spoke briefly on the player’s controversial decision to move to Saudi Arabia, saying she would not be allowed to see him play in person.

Henderson received backlash for leaving Liverpool to join Al-Ettifaq despite Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

This was on the mind of Jill Scott, who made a point dig saying that she would not be welcome to watch him play for his new team because she is gay.

His Saudi move is deemed controversial because the former Liverpool captain had promised his support to the LGBTQ+ community, and had worn both rainbow laces and a rainbow captain’s armband.

Yet criticism was aimed at him, though he insists that his move to Saudi Arabia can help those who face discrimination in the country.

“I’m a Jordan Henderson fan but now I know I wouldn’t be welcome if I wanted to watch him play football,” Scott, currently in a long-term relationship with her finance, Shelly, said while on punditry duty for Channel 4.


England LGBTQ+ fan group 3 Lions Pride revealed a plan to protest by turning their backs on him.

Speaking to Mirror Football, co-chair of the group, Joe White, said: “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, 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.”

Meanwhile, Joe Cole feels Henderson’s England future is in ‘jeopardy’ after he put manager Gareth Southgate in a ‘difficult position’.

‘From a footballing perspective, I can understand why it puts Gareth in a difficult position,’ Cole told Channel 4.

‘When you’re competing with the players Henderson is competing with – Rice, Bellingham, Ward-Prowse, Phillips – they are all playing in the Champions League [and Europa League].

‘Is he going to be as sharp as he was? You have to remember the margins that England went out with against France at the last World Cup.

‘You have to be so sharp, every player on the pitch. Henderson will know he’s put his England future in jeopardy.’

Cole, quizzed about the ‘moral side’ of Henderson’s switch to Saudi Arabia, added that the 33-year-old ‘slipped up’ when he claimed in an interview that he did not move there for the money.

‘On the moral side, I agree with Gareth in the sense that footballers and managers get held to account on what’s right and wrong,’ Cole said.

Gareth Southgate said in his pre-match press conference that Jordan Henderson would be “sad” if England’s LGBTQ+ fans turned their back on the team, as the midfielder started against Ukraine.

When questioned about the protest move on Friday, Southgate said: “I think Jordan expressed himself this week that he would be sad if that’s how they felt. His feeling towards that community hasn’t changed.

“As a team, I’m sure all of our fans are going to get behind the team when the game starts.

“I understand some of the comments that have been made and I respect the comments that have been made, but what has also said is they will get behind the team when we play, and I’m sure they will get behind Jordan when the game starts as well.”

Asked if Southgate considered taking Henderson out of the firing line, the England manager said:” I don’t pick the team based on external reaction, as I’m sure you’re aware over the course of the last seven years.

“He’s a very experienced professional. He’s very mature at handling any situation really. He’s trained well this week, the whole group has, and everyone is available for us which is really pleasing.”

In his interview with The Athletic earlier this week, the England midfielder defended his decision to move to Saudi Arabia, admitting he “strongly believed” it was the right thing to do.

“All I’ve ever tried to do is help,” Henderson said in the interview. “And when I’ve been asked for help, I’ve gone above and beyond to help. I’ve worn the laces. I’ve worn the armband. I’ve spoken to people in that community to try to use my profile to help them. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do.

“I’m not going to sit here saying, ‘Why are they criticising me?’ I understand it. These are all the things I was thinking about, and I do care.

“When I hear stuff like, ‘You’ve turned your back on us,’ that hurts me. I do care. I have family and friends in the LGBTQ+ community … I’m comfortable knowing exactly what I am and exactly what I stand for. But I get and I can accept not everyone’s going to get that. So that’s why I can only apologize to those people if they feel like that.”

SEE MORE: Jordan Henderson responds to backlash with his move to Saudi Arabia ‘not about money’

This is how Twitter users reacted as Jill Scott calls out Jordan Henderson while England fans make their feelings known towards him…

@liamb0117: Well said Jill Scott.

@gjcmcfc1978: Wtf would anyone want to watch Henderson play football ???

@bighfizzle: Massive respect to Jill Scott for having the strength and decency to stand up and make her voice heard when so many of her fellow male pundits keep quiet on ethical issues in football
*cough* Neville and Carragher *cough*

@OxtonSoulBoy: Ooofff!!! Fair fucking play to her for saying it!!!

@saileshdghelani: I totally agree with @JillScottJS8 why are we picking players in a league Southgate won’t visit to watch?? Also I didn’t like Southgate’s comments about Conor Coady playing in the championship?? Henderson plays in Saudi pro league ????? What league is worse?? 😡😡😡😡

@SteTy102: Jill Scott absolutely nailed it on the issue of Henderson. she (a gay woman) wouldn’t be welcome if she wanted to watch him play. That matters far more than anything else.

@rosaleenmward: One of the more poignant responses to the horrendous sellout by Henderson

@kanefromthelane: Fair play to Jill Scott, she’s probably the only Jordan Henderson fan out there

@charlietabloid: This a devastatingly simple and well made point.

@MsYellowHat: Well done to her for saying it, but it shouldn’t always have to be the (brilliant) Jill Scotts of the world doing the heavy lifting on TV coverage

@Will_JRogers: Well said, Jill

@MatthewDix151: jill scott spot on in this #safc

@Wizzleofthewazz: 100% agree

@Aaron_M_Girling: Jill is bang on here but this gets political when it should be about analysing the football on show tonight, or being critical of the negative Southgate tactics picking the yes men rather pushing this team forward a midfield 3 of Bellingham Rice and Foden is the way forward IMO

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