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”.
— Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (@SeaEagles) July 24, 2022
The Manly Sea Eagles have unveiled their first-ever pride jersey – which is also the first in the NRL’s 114-year history. It’s a huge step that has one club legend rapt 👉 https://t.co/JN6kkqQeqm pic.twitter.com/hg353mlS0b
— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) July 25, 2022
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.
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.
I don’t want to hear one single thing about ‘respecting other people’s opinions’ or using religion as a crutch to hide behind while being homophobic.
No issues playing at a stadium covered in alcohol and gambling sponsors, which is also a sin. What a joke https://t.co/9K4N1HlWSb
— Matt Bungard (@TheMattBungard) July 25, 2022
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