Much has been made of Thierry Henry’s move to the USA, and his transfer was further brought into focus by a debut goal for New York Red Bull against old foes Tottenham last week.
Some have accused 32-year-old Henry of shortchanging his own career. They point to a player with exceptional talent who still has plenty to offer. Despite being unable to command a first eleven spot at Barcelona anymore, Henry could have taken his pick of many European clubs. As a result, some have charged that his move to the USA is motivated merely by dollars.
However, the Arsenal legend gave a revealing interview with Fox NY which casts a different light on the transfer. It was revealing as it firstly exposed the footballing ignorance of the average American, with one interviewer asking, “So, you’ve just won the World Cup?” while simultaneously showing a clip of the striker’s infamous handball against Ireland, hardly Henry’s finest moment.
More importantly though, Henry highlighted the problem of racism in European football as a reason for his Stateside move.
Henry explained, “In Europe it’s crazy. Unfortunately in Europe, it’s a reflection on society…If you are from another religion, or another country or a different colour then you can hear some bad stuff…I never heard any bad stuff about racism happening in the US.”
Although the Frenchman was careful to add that racism wasn’t the reason for his move to New York, it is apparent that it was a factor.