Hertha Berlin has sacked her goalkeeper trainer Zsolt Petry for commenting on migrants and LGBT + people in a Hungarian newspaper.
The Bundesliga club have said that while they are satisfied with the work of former Hungary international Petry, his comments run counter to the club’s positions on diversity and inclusion.
“The comments made overall do not reflect Hertha’s values,” club CEO Carsten Schmidt said. “We thank Zsolt Petry for the work done and wish him good luck in the future.”
Petry, who had been at the club since 2015, criticized European migration policies in an interview with the Magyar Nemzet newspaper, saying that Europe was a “Christian continent”.
“I cannot understand how Europe could morally sink so low,” he said.
The 54-year-old also said he did not understand why Hungary international and RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi had recently spoken out in favor of LGBT + rights.
Gulacsi posted on his social media accounts in February to say he was standing up for ‘rainbow families’ after a law was passed in his homeland that bans unmarried couples from adopting children . As equal marriage is banned in Hungary, the adoption law effectively prevents LGBT + people from starting a family.
Petry apologized for his comments and accepted the club’s decision.
“I want to stress that I am neither homophobic nor against migrants,” Petry said in the club statement. “I regret my comment regarding the migration policy and I would like to apologize to all those people who seek refuge with us.”
Petry won 38 caps for Hungary from 1988 to 1996 and was named Hungarian Footballer of the Year in 1990.