“They chose silence” – Hirst criticises England Football team for not taking a stand

Keegan Hirst has called out the England football team for failing to fulfill their promise of protest at the ongoing football World Cup. 

Hirst became the first rugby league professional in this country to come out as gay in 2015 and has been helping change the stigma of homosexuality in sport ever since. 

Retiring in 2020 he has since become an advocate for equality in both sport and society.

Part of his work has been getting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign incorporated into the Super League schedule.

Hirst made comment on his twitter feed over the weekend calling out the attending pundits as being “guilty of hypocrisy,” but that ultimately they were “not the enemy”.

Instead he called on society as a whole and more specifically those who “shoot up gay night clubs & harass and bully LGBT people” as being where criticism should be directed.

less than 48 hours later Hirst doubled down on the hypocrisy of participating nations this time, criticising the decision taken by nine European nations to not wear the pre planned ‘One Love’ armband. 

Nations including England and Wales had planned to silently protest the human rights record and the criminality of homosexuality within the Gulf state of Qatar by wearing a rainbow coloured captains armband emblazoned ‘One Love’, but when FIFA threatened to book players immediately this planned protest was abandoned.

“The football captains could have gotten a squad player to wear the armband and sub them off (they have extra),” Hirst tweeted before suggesting another alternative, “They could have changed captain each game”.

“They could have made a stand. They could have stood for something. They chose silence” is how Hirst concluded his criticism making his ill feelings towards the none show of support known. 

This controversial football World Cup is coming right after the conclusion of the most inclusive and equality driven Rugby League World Cup in history, which saw men, women and wheelchair players alike all receive full media attention and an equal platform. 

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