Bundesliga membership dismiss GK coaches for homophobia
Zsolt Petry left Hertha Berling after making derogatory comments in an interview. Photo by Jan-Philipp Burmann / City-Press GmbH via Getty Images
Hertha Berlin has dismissed goalkeeper coach Zsolt Petry with immediate effect after making anti-gay comments in an interview, the club said on Tuesday.
The 54-year-old Petry interviewed the Hungarian outlet Magyar Nemzet on Monday, made derogatory comments and criticized European immigration policy.
Petry said he couldn't understand why RB Leipzig goalkeeper and his Hungarian compatriot Peter Gulacsi recently "supported homosexuals, transvestites and people with different sexual identities" and that he "couldn't understand how Europe could go as morally low as it is now".
He added: "The Liberals are blowing up their minds. If you don't like migration because many criminals have overrun Europe, then they are accusing you of being racist."
After a day of silence after the interview appeared, Hertha Berlin released Petry from his duties in the club on Tuesday.
"Zsolt Petry's work over the years at Hertha BSC has always been very much appreciated. He was always open, tolerant and helpful. He never acted homophobic or xenophobic," said CEO Carsten Schmidt in a statement.
Hertha BSC separates from Zsolt #Petry. After an interview, which the club initially knew nothing about, the board of directors agreed to release the goalkeeping coach from his duties with immediate effect. #HaHoHe pic.twitter.com/1FtvgUh15o
– Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) April 6, 2021
"Even taking into account the fuller details of the translation of his comments and the fact that some of Zsolt's comments from the interview were left out of the publication without consultation, we ultimately concluded that the comments were broadly inconsistent with those of Hertha BSC match values.
"We thank Zsolt Petry for his work in the club and wish him all the best for the future."
Petry also apologized for his comments in the club statement, insisting that he regret his words.
"I want to emphasize that I am not homophobic or xenophobic," he said. "I deeply regret my comments on immigration policy and I apologize to everyone who has sought refuge here and whom I have offended.
"I enjoyed working for Hertha BSC and respecting their decision. I wish everyone at the club all the best for the future."
Petry has worked as a coach for the Bundesliga club since 2015 and has played 35 games for Hungary during his playing career.