Several of the Manly Sea Eagle pride jersey boycotters broke their silence this week, telling the media they had no regrets about the controversy that derailed the club’s 2022 season.
Also below: reports sacked coach will sue club — blames pride jersey for team’s dismal showing.
News reports that Sea Eagles forward Haumole Olakau’atu said he had no regrets over the boycott.
“It was really difficult.
“I don’t know what else to say. I hope everyone just respects our decision and moves on. My faith comes first before anything. It is who I am.
“I called my parents after finding out about the jersey that night and they said just to follow my heart. It made it 10 times easier, especially growing up in a religious family.”
Both Olakau’atu and Manly Sea Eagle young gun Toluta’u Koula are currently in England representing Tonga in the World Cup. Koula described the pride jersey saga as a rollercoaster.
“There was some hate out there but I tried not to pay too much attention to it.
“During that period I tried to stay off social media as much as I could. It was pretty tough not winning too many games at the back end of the season. I think the main thing for us boys was trying to stay closer to each other.
“It was a rollercoaster of a season, to say the least.”
Fellow pride jersey boycotter Josh Schuster also said he had no regrets in an interview with Nine.
“It was a difficult period, but I put my faith and personal beliefs first.”
Sacked Manly Sea Eagle coach Des Hasler
Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that recently sacked Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler is considering a $1 million lawsuit against the club. The legal action will reportedly be based on the club implementing the pride jersey without consulting him.
The newspaper reports that Hasler believes the pride jersey controversy prohibited him from fulfilling his contractual obligations, linking the team’s fall in form to the controversy.
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