Liverpool FC captain Jordan Henderson and manager Jürgen Klopp have been nominated alongside Everton star Richarlison in the Football Allies category of the 2021 British LGBT Awards.
The awards, which aim to celebrate the work of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies across various industries, have this year introduced the Football Allies category to highlight the work that still needs to be done in the sport.
With no openly gay players in the Premier League, the British LGBT Awards believe conversations around LGBTQ+ rights are still taboo in the sport. They hope to shine a light on those working to help footballers “be their authentic selves on the playing field”.
Everton’s Richarlison earned a nomination thanks to his support and collaboration with the club’s LGBTQ+ group, Rainbow Toffees, whilst Liverpool boss Klopp is being recognised as the only manager who took part in the Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign last year.
Jordan Henderson has been particularly outspoken on the issue of LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion, donning a rainbow captain’s armband in December in a move that gained much admiration from the club’s LGBTQ+ fans.
“We’re absolutely delighted,” said Paul Amann of Kop Outs, Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ supporters’ group.
“It’s well-deserved because the club, and particularly Jordan Henderson and Jürgen Klopp, have gone out of their way to actually do the right thing by engaging with LGBT+ rights in a meaningful manner.
“They’re not just going through the motions with the Rainbow Laces campaign, but actually following it up with engaging with individual fans as Jordan did on Twitter,” Amann adds, referring to Henderson’s messages of support to a fan in December 2020.
You’ll never walk alone Keith. If wearing the #RainbowLaces armband helps even just one person then it’s progress. Everyone is welcome at Liverpool Football Club. Hope you enjoyed the game tonight. #YNWA https://t.co/TfIhASribZ
— Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) December 6, 2020
“He’s reminding people of the almost inconsequential nature of somebodies sexual orientation or gender identity,” Amann said. “The fact that actually, it doesn’t matter to the likes of Jordan Henderson. He’s saying loudly and clearly that people, whoever they are, should be treated with dignity and respect. That makes a massive difference.”
The winners will be announced at a ceremony held on Friday 27 August 2021.
Full list of Football Allies nominees:
Richarlison de Andrade
(Main image licensed under Creative Commons)