There is a a great deal that we have come to take for granted as Liverpool Football Club supporters under Jurgen Klopp, both on and off the pitch. However, we should still take a moment to appreciate how great the manager and captain have been on any number of issues, especially LGBTQ rights.
Once again, both Jurgen Klopp and Jordan Henderson had a lot to say about the Premier League’s Rainbow Laces Initiative. You might even call them proud allies.
“As a club, we want and we need to be as inclusive as we possibly can,” Kloppo said in his program notes.
“This, to me, is what You’ll Never Walk Alone is all about. By standing together, by being together and by allowing no-one to be alone no matter what, we can send a message that this club is for everyone.
“This is one of the reasons why I now wear the rainbow laces in my shoes for most games and I would urge you to make sure that we continue to make Anfield and Liverpool Football Club welcome to all.”
Not to be outdone, Henderson also threw his full support behind the campaign in his program notes.
“This is always an occasion that makes me especially proud to be club captain because I could not be stronger in my belief that the values we are celebrating – unity, togetherness, inclusion – could not be more in keeping with those of our club and our city,” Hendo said.
“I have regularly worn rainbow laces and today will be no exception because this kind of visible support can only have a positive impact. It also sends the 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 this, the more we will move towards the kind of inclusive society that is more welcoming of everyone.
“Football has its part to play and, as I said, I couldn’t be more proud to play a small part of my own.”
These comments, and public support from the club, will no doubt garner a great deal of negative pushback. But for every negative, homophobic comment on the social media, there will be countless others who appreciate the support and know that they will be more welcomed at matches and other Liverpool-supported events.
We’re lucky to have such strong and consistent allies as leaders at Liverpool Football Club.