Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien was hit with a strong backlash in Ghana after he publicly announced his support for the LGBTQ+ community in his home country.
On Tuesday, the ex-Blues and Real Madrid player announced his support for the LGBTQ+ community in Ghana, joining other celebrities and politicians in doing so.
According to Yen, Essien wrote on Instagram, “We see you, we hear you, we support you. Our LGBTQIA plus Community in Ghana”, alongside an image with the words “Ghana supports equality”.
It is claimed that, following his post, he lost more than one million followers on the social media platform and was hit with major criticism from many in Ghana.
It is reported that Essien has since removed the public post from his Instagram, while he is also said to have lost hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter.
His initial post may have been motivated by recent happenings in the West African country, after police were alleged to have shut down the offices of LGBT+ Rights Ghana in February.
“A few days ago, traditional leaders threatened to burn down our office but the police did not help,” the organisation wrote in a statement released on Twitter, according to Pink News.
“At this moment, we no longer have access to our safe space and our safety is being threatened. We call on all human rights organisations, and allies, to speak out against these attacks and hate crimes we are being subjected to.”
– Soccer Laduma