Jordan Henderson reveals why he ‘couldn’t change his stance’ as Liverpool midfielder speaks out on Gabriel spat

Jordan Henderson during Liverpool's Premier League match against Newcastle at Anfield

Jordan Henderson has explained why he remained silent during the FA investigation into an incident between himself and Arsenal star Gabriel Magalhaes.

The duo were involved in a heated confrontation as the Gunners beat the Reds 3-2 on October 9. Henderson, 32, was accused of making an offensive remark to the former Brazil Under-23 star. The FA took multiple statements from players involved in the match. And inguistics experts were used to try and aid the investigation.

The England schemer always denied saying anything of a racist nature and was cleared by the FA.

He has now opened up on the incident and why he was unable to give his version of events.

“I understand why I have to be asked about this, but what I tried to do was respect the process,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I have spoken before about black players being brave enough to speak out about discrimination so I couldn’t then change my stance. And I still feel I need to show respect now, even though it’s been dealt with.

“I’ve let the FA do what they needed to do and I still feel it wouldn’t be right for me to speak about it.

“It is just as important to respect the process afterwards as it is during the case. I could speak to you all day about how I was feeling, but I have to accept what happened and move on. By the way, that wasn’t easy.”

Henderson sticks to his guns

Henderson’s influence as a footballer has grown as he has matured as a player. But he has also taken the lead in off-field matters.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Sunderland-born ace was instrumental in organising a player fund to help the NHS.

He was recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours, with an MBE for ‘services to Football and to Charity’.

The man with 70 England caps confessed that it was tough to remain tight-lipped after the accusations.

And he believes it is vital that people report instances of discrimination in any walk of life.

“There were a million and one things I wanted to say – emotional things. But I think it would have been wrong,” he added.

“It has not changed my mind that people must be empowered to come forward if they feel they have been wronged.

“It has changed my thoughts a little bit about the person who has been accused. But if people feel they have been discriminated against, they must come forward.”

Henderson takes positives from Gabriel spat

The FA issued a statement last month stressing that there was ‘no case to answer’. It has clearly been a tough time for Henderson.

But the ex-Sunderland ace refused to wallow in self-pity and feels he is a better person for the experience.

“It would not be right for me to sit here and say how hard it was for me, because there is another person involved as well,” he continued.

“It has been dealt with and it was another learning experience in my life.”

The incident overshadowed another superb display by the north Londoners. They downed the Anfield giants having beaten Tottenham the game before.

Mikel Arteta’s charges travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea on Sunday while Liverpool are in the capital to face Spurs.

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