Jordan Henderson takes Saudi Arabia money, ruins legacy

This is my fault. I know better than to buy it, but being so cynical, and assuming that every athlete who looks like he’s above the general quagmire, is no way to live. I wanted to believe Jordan Henderson, and in many ways still do.

It was more than Henderson captaining Liverpool, my favorite team in any sport, during the most successful era of the entire time I’ve been a fan. Henderson won the European Cup, the Premier League Trophy, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and we’d even take part in the Club World Cup because hey, it was fun at the time. ,henderson shuffle“Indicates some of my happiest times.

It was not that after Liverpool bought Henderson from Sunderland, who had been criticized by Alex Ferguson for his running style, he went from being a laughing stock to an outstanding midfielder. Jürgen Klopp who can do this kind of shit:

This was clearly not accomplished by him being the emotional heartbeat of the team, his relentless energy driving the team to play the heavy metal football that Klopp demanded and his uncontrollable roar whenever he scored, or when Liverpool won. That Klopp’s Liverpool was distilled into one player constant frenetic pace, and energy yet capable of moments of art at any given moment.

It was all that, but it was also, at least, the feeling that Henderson took the responsibility of being captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world, and the visibility that comes with it, seriously and as a platform. This is what he had to say just before last year’s World Cup as FIFA banned rainbow armbands for captains to show support for the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar, a country that makes it illegal to live in that community:

“It is always an occasion that makes me particularly proud to be club captain as I could not be stronger in my belief that the values ​​we celebrate – unity, togetherness, inclusion – cannot be commensurate with our club and our city.

“I regularly wear rainbow lace and today will be no exception as visible support like this can only make a positive impact. It also delivers a powerful message that football is for everyone and the more of us who can take this message back into our homes, workplaces and daily lives, the better.

“The more we can understand, the more we can learn, and the more we can stand together on issues like these, the closer we will move toward an inclusive society that is more welcoming to everyone.

“Football has to play its part and, like I said, I couldn’t be more proud to have played my part.”

In 2019, when the Premier League launched the Rainbow Lace campaign, it was Henderson:

“This campaign is important if there are still supporters out there who don’t feel they can be themselves or, worse, have to hide who they are for fear of being abused or discriminated against. I am a parent, a husband, a son, and a brother and the idea that someone I love and care for would not feel safe or comfortable watching me play if they were part of the LGBT community makes me wonder what a world we live in.

Henderson also gathered all the other Premier League captains together at the start of the pandemic “Players Together” Campaign to help the stressed NHS. He looked really different.

And maybe he still is, and all those things that he said, and still alive. But then last week happened, and Saudi Arabia’s PIF pledges to double The salary he was earning in Liverpool, and suddenly everything he said in support of the LGBTQ+ community didn’t matter as much when taking money from a government that banned homosexuality. He even gives him the death penalty. The Athletic’s Caoimhe O’Neill documented How personally hurt she was to see a player she thought stood up for her in a world that isn’t always hospitable to the queer community.

you can explain it from a distance At 33, this is Henderson’s last major contract, and none other than the Saudi league will pay him around $25 million a year. I’ve never been offered $25 million a year, and neither have you, and it’s frankly easy to say sitting on a beer-stained couch that I wouldn’t take it from the Saudi PIF. But none of us know this. But then again, I haven’t even banked the hundreds of millions Henderson already has. Exactly how much is enough?

On a footballing level, it is disappointing that a player who showed such spirit and fight decided to move on before the first season, which would have reduced his playing time, rather than play a role, especially as captain. He rightly made noises about Liverpool’s midfield changes, which He’s already seen them buy Alexis McAllister and Dominic Szoboszlai, yet that won’t discourage them from working. Team Leader. And he would still be a big part of Liverpool next season And yet he had a prominent role as club captain. This went on for a week until he got a whiff of Saudi blood money.

But it’s clearly too much on that. Henderson didn’t just want us to see him as more than just a player But did things to support it. And then he went back at it, because he had a price. There were more important things than that, there are more important things than that, and yet here we are.

Henderson would not get the sendoff he deserved from Anfield. The fans won’t say goodbye. But considering the strange circumstances, it’s probably for the best. this kind of frustration is probably the best in the background.

Anyway, to lighten things up. At least your day was better than the one running the Rockies scoreboard:

(yes, we know it’s a recurring bit at coors fieldBut let’s all play together)

Jhon Dhuran came through with consecutive 104 MPH throws to seal the Twins’ win over the Mariners last night. And yet I think the most impressive thing about this clip is that Eugenio Suarez is somehow pulling the ball:

Follow Sam on Twitter @failsgate and on bluesky

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