Piers Morgan says footballers shouldn't be made to wear the rainbow

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Piers Morgan has shared his thoughts on Idrissa Gueye. (PA)
Piers Morgan has shared his thoughts on Idrissa Gueye. (PA)

Piers Morgan has said footballers should not have to wear rainbow colours if they don’t want to, after it was claimed that Senegalese star Idrissa Gueye missed a match rather than wear the symbol.

The Paris St-Germain player — who is Muslim — sparked criticism when he missed a match on Saturday, apparently because he did not want to wear the design that was in support of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

PSG’s manager said Gueye was absent for “personal reasons”, but it has been claimed it was actually over the strip.

Read more: Piers Morgan blocks Simon McCoy on Twitter after spat over ratings

Morgan has now addressed the issue in a column The Sun, saying that free speech should allow footballers to choose what they publicly support.

Paris Saint Germain's Idrissa Gueye
Idrissa Gueye missed a match at the weekend. (PA)

“Gueye is entitled to decide whether he wishes to wear rainbow colours,” he wrote.

The 57-year-old said that in Gueye’s home country of Senegal, homosexuality is illegal and can result in five years imprisonment.

Morgan said that according to a 2013 poll, 97% of the people there believe homosexuality is a way of life that society shouldn’t accept.

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar, wearing a jersey in the colour of the Rainbow flag marking the fight against homophobia, walks on the pitch during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on May 16, 2021. - The 37th day of Ligue 1 on May 16 was an opportunity for French football to raise public awareness about the fight against homophobia, through various operations in the stadiums. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, wearing a jersey in the colour of the Rainbow flag marking the fight against homophobia, 2021. (AFP via Getty Images)

“Like me, you may find this horrifyingly bigoted,” he said.

“But that is the culture Gueye grew up in.”

Read more: Gary Lineker mocks Piers Morgan over viewing figures for TalkTV launch show

Morgan said if the footballer was “publicly ranting homophobic bigotry” it would be a different matter.

“But he hasn’t done that, and he shouldn’t be forced to promote something he might not personally agree with nor punished for exercising his right to free speech by opting not to wear rainbow colours,” he said.

The TV star said he felt the same way about footballers taking the knee – saying that both players who chose to do it and those that don’t should all be respected.

Watch: Piers Morgan bonds with climate activist who also walked off GMB

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