The Complex Dance of Allyship: Henderson, Chloe Morgan, and the LGBTQ+ Debate
Jordan Henderson has always been more than just a footballer. The Liverpool stalwart and England international has never shied away from using his platform to advocate for social issues, particularly in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, Henderson is quick to clarify that he’s not a politician. He’s not out to change laws, but rather to use his influence to help those who need it.
“I’ve done my bit,” Henderson says, referring to his various efforts, including wearing rainbow laces and armbands. “I’ve spoken to people in the community to use my profile to help them. That’s my aim. I’m not here to be criticised; I’m here because I care.”
Chloe Morgan’s Perspective: The Responsibility of Influence
Chloe Morgan, a respected voice in women’s football and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, acknowledges Henderson’s influence but questions the depth of his commitment. “Being a former Premier League captain, Henderson wields a significant amount of power. He’s chosen to be an outspoken ally, but what does that really mean?”
Morgan argues that the essence of being an ally is to stand united with affected communities and fight alongside them. “If change isn’t the ultimate objective, then what is? Henderson’s reluctance to speak out against laws that criminalise homosexuality in Saudi Arabia is a missed opportunity. It’s not just about holding a belief; it’s about showing solidarity.”
The Qatar Conundrum: A Lesson in Selective Activism?
Henderson points to the recent World Cup in Qatar as an example of how sport can shine a light on social issues. “The World Cup brought about some changes in Qatar, and that’s positive,” he says. However, Morgan finds this stance lacking in substance. “Henderson’s vague references to ‘some changes’ in Qatar show a lack of understanding about the ongoing threats to the LGBTQ+ community,” she notes.
Henderson also touches upon the delicate balance between respecting religious beliefs and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. “If wearing the rainbow armband disrespects their religion, then that’s not right either. We have to respect everyone,” he states.
Morgan, however, sees this as a cop-out. “The issue isn’t about disrespecting religion; it’s about asserting the rights of a group of people. Saudi Arabia’s laws actively discriminate against a section of society. The real question is, will you stand up for the community when it really counts?”
Final Thoughts: The Road Ahead for Henderson and LGBTQ+ Allyship
The debate around Henderson’s role as an LGBTQ+ ally is complex and multi-faceted. While his efforts are commendable, the question remains: Is it enough to just wear the armband and the laces, or does true allyship require something more? As Chloe Morgan aptly puts it, “That’s where it really matters; that’s when it really counts.”