Jordan Henderson made clear his continued faith in due process following an investigation into alleged offensive comments he had made to Gabriel during the 3-2 loss to Arsenal.
Some thought the 32-year-old was involved in a racist incident during the confrontation, although the matter has since been cleared up.
“There were a million things I wanted to say, emotional things, but I think it would have been wrong,” the England international told the Daily Mail.
“He has not changed his mind that people should be empowered to come forward if they feel they have been wronged. It has changed my thoughts about the person who has been accused a little bit, but if people feel they have been discriminated against, they should come forward.
“It wouldn’t be right for me to sit here and say how difficult it was for me, because there is another person involved as well. It has been tried and it was another learning experience in my life.”
It says a lot about the midfielder’s character that, despite a carefully constructed reputation that is about to be completely unraveled by the accusation, he has no interest in the discussion revolving entirely around him.
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Henderson is absolutely right to shine a spotlight on those who experience discrimination and ensure that other players are not discouraged from stepping up if they have suffered abuse in their profession.
Indeed, it is essential that football’s efforts in this direction do not stop at just the knee and that we stand firm against discrimination, wherever it rears its ugly head.
There is still a lot of work to do, but having athletes like our patron championing the way forward can make a big difference.
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