NRL players threaten to pull out of match over club’s rainbow jersey

manly sea eagles rainbow jersey ian roberts pride nrl
Image: Manly Sea Eagles/Twitter

Seven New South Wales NRL players are considering pulling out of a match on Thursday over their objection to wearing a one-off rainbow pride jersey.

The Manly Sea Eagles unveiled the jersey, titled Everyone in League (above), at the weekend. Rainbow colours replace the traditional white piping on Manly’s jumper.

Players Kieran Foran, Reuben Garrick and Sean Keppie modelled the jersey and told the Daily Telegraph they were “very proud” to do so and backed its message.

Gay rugby legend Ian Roberts also earlier told the Daily Telegraph he’s been pushing for an NRL Pride Round for three years.

“LGBTIQA people have always been a part of sport but haven’t always been allowed the visibility,” he said.

Manly’s rainbow pride jersey, promoting diversity and inclusion, is the first of its kind in rugby league’s 114-year history.

Interim Manly Sea Eagles CEO Gary Wolman said his club was proud to “share such an important message that means so much to so many people in the community”.

Seven NRL threaten to pull out of match on religious grounds

The plan was for Manly players to wear the gear during Thursday night’s NRL match against the Sydney Roosters.

However on Monday, seven players have threatened to pull out of the match due to the club’s pride jersey, according to the Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald.

The group of players are refusing the rainbow jersey on cultural and religious grounds. They also reportedly claimed they weren’t consulted prior to the club’s jersey announcement.

To address the matter, the Telegraph reported the Manly Sea Eagles have brought forward an emergency meeting from Tuesday to Monday night.

The player’s resistance to the jersey and threats to pull out of the match have caused backlash online.

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  1. J
    25 July 2022

    Imagine being scared a little colour will make people think you’re queer. Not with that attitude Queen.

    If it’s religious grounds, you can argue that big advertisement for gambling between those gorgeous rainbows.

    Imho the rainbows are subtle enough I didn’t even think of pride when I first saw it. They’re stylish and add a pop of colour.

    • Yolande Stiffel
      26 July 2022

      Isn’t it amazing how many footballers indulge in, pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth and think that is OK. But they won’t wear a rainbow jersey for religious reasons! The only religions I know of that truly condemns LGBTQIA+ are the religions of bigots and home-made, ignorant self righteous fanatics.
      No TRUE Christian would support these 7 players and would proudly wear this jersey.

  2. Vicci Gates
    28 July 2022

    Inclusiveness means letting everyone on the team play the game, not forcing them to visually agree with you on the issue of the day.
    Obviously the men being excluded for not wearing a ‘nod to that they can’t nod to’ have no issues with the people that the nod represent.
    They are being forced to bow to an idol or pay the price for making their stand.

    “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They don’t worship your gods, and they didn’t bow down to worship the gold idol you set up.” Nebuchadnezzar became very angry. He called for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So they were brought to him. And Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don’t worship my gods? And is it true that you didn’t bow down and worship the gold idol I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas, harps, bagpipes, and all the other musical instruments, you must bow down and worship the gold idol. If you are ready to worship the idol I have made, that is good. But if you don’t worship it, you will be thrown very quickly into the hot furnace.”
    -Daniel 3.

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