Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and fellow teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold sat down on behalf of the club to speak about a serious societal concern as part of Black History Month, as released by the club’s official Twitter account.
The Reds defender was particularly keen to highlight the importance of education in changing mindsets and tackling diversity concerns.
“So I think the problem definitely starts with education. I think that’s without doubt the answer to all the problems,” the 22-year-old spoke on LFCTV. “If you can stop it at source, with children, who are easily influenced and will follow what they see and what they’re told is right and wrong.”
The right-back added that acts like taking the knee would likely bear some serious significance for younger supporters, which could go some way in the fight against racism and the drive for equality.
“Like Hendo said, with the taking a knee – that’s more for the younger generation,” Trent added.
“If someone’s 40 years old and all they’ve known is racism, it’s hard to break them out of that routine of feeling that it’s okay.
“But, if you’ve got a five/six-year-old seeing their idols taking the knee, standing for what they believe in and being able to influence them at a young age, giving them the right message that it isn’t okay to be racist, everyone is equal, everyone should be given an equal chance.
“If we can get that into the next generation as soon as possible then hopefully the next generation is better than what it is today.”
As part of #BlackHistoryMonth, @TrentAA and @JHenderson sat down to talk about the continued fight for equality, the importance of diversity and their thoughts on changing people’s perceptions for the better. #RedTogether pic.twitter.com/fBhuwA0z2j
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 9, 2021
When discussing such issues, those in positions of power – notably, politicians – have been quick to muffle the contributions of footballers and suggest that they should merely ‘stick to football’.
It’s a crude and, frankly, baffling approach, when we should realistically be encouraging those in the limelight – which top professionals like Henderson and Alexander-Arnold most certainly are – to use their platform for the good of society.
Given the incumbent government’s reluctance to react to and, at times, even address ongoing societal concerns like racism, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the task is falling on others to step up in their absence.
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