‘Besides luck, hard work & talent.. Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer (asr),’ he tweeted to his 800,000 followers, along with an emoji showing hands clasped in prayer.
He also shared the photo to almost 2 million followers on Instagram.
Joshua, a British heavyweight boxer and Olympic champion, is not understood to be a practising Muslim but was experiencing the culture with friends who are.
Some people had a problem with that, however.
He received an immediate stream of abuse in reply to his tweet, with people saying they would no longer support him
Besides luck, hard work & talent.. Prayer is a solid foundation. It was nice to join my brother as he led through afternoon prayer (asr) 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/KJ4f2lu3mP
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) January 17, 2017
‘Disappointed, won’t be watching you again’, one troll posted.
Some people said they had been fans but would now be ‘praying for his opponents’.
‘Hope Klitchko batters you now tbh,’ one man wrote, referring to his upcoming fight against Wladimir Klitschko.
Some of the responses to Anthony Joshua praying in a Mosque. Sometimes I'm ashamed to be White & English. We're not all like this… pic.twitter.com/vVqfMJTe89
— ! (@kylerowland90) January 17, 2017
It wasn’t only from right-wingers that he got the criticism from (although they made up the vast majority).
Some Muslims joined in, asking why he was wearing sunglasses in the mosque and looking upwards instead of at the floor.
But we can’t imagine Anthony Joshua MBE, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics, is going to be too concerned about the backlash.
He’s probably got more important things to focus on, like being a world-renowned sporting hero.
And thankfully, the messages of support in response now outweigh the abuse.
he coulda just pose infront of the mosque and kept it moving
— Anuoluwapo (@OhAdaraa) January 12, 2017