BERLIN (AP) – Hertha Berlin fired her goalkeeper coach Zsolt Petry for making homophobic and xenophobic remarks in an interview published by the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet.
The Bundesliga club said Tuesday it is committed to the values of diversity and tolerance, and that Petry’s expressions contradict that spirit.
In an interview published Monday, Petry criticized Hungarian goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi, who saves with Leipzig in the German league, for supporting gay weddings and defending LGBT rights. “
“I do not know what could have caused Péter to come out in defense of homosexuals, transvestites and people with those gender identities,” Petry told Magyar Nemzet publication. “I would not have caused such a stir.”
Petry said that “the majority of Hungarian society disagrees with Gulácsi’s liberal views on rainbow families.”
The 54-year-old former Hungarian national team goalkeeper also lashed out at migration policies in Europe.
“I cannot understand how Europe has been able to sink morally as it is now. Immigration policy is for me a manifestation of moral decline, “said Petry.” Europe is a Christian continent. It bothers me to witness moral degradation across the continent. “
Hertha CEO Carsten Schmidt said in a statement Tuesday that the club valued Petry’s work and that the coach had never made homophobic and xenophobic statements, but what he expressed to Magyar Nemzet went against the institution’s values. .
Petry, who had been with Hertha since 2015, offered a download on the club’s website.
“I want to emphasize that I am neither homophobic nor xenophobic,” he said. “I am very sorry for my statement on immigration policy and would like to apologize to all the people who seek refuge with us and whom I have offended.”