Queensland Rugby League launches inclusive pride cap


Members of Queensland Rugby League wear maroon caps supporting the LGBTQIA+ community
Image: QRL

Queensland Rugby League (QRL) has created a pride cap as part of a new approach to LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the sport. 

The cap, which was designed in consultation with the LGBTQIA+ community, was launched to coincide with Brisbane Pride Festival.

The work is part of a new inclusive approach at QRL under CEO Ben Ikin.

“I want to make rugby league accessible to more people in Queensland and those that do come into the sport fall in love with it and have a lifelong journey, as I have,” Ikin said.

The QRL are Pride in Sport members. The organisation assists sporting bodies in the inclusion of employees, athletes, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

Pride in Sport program manager Beau Newell commended the work of QRL during their work together.

“Through their partnership with Pride in Sport, QRL continues to demonstrate leadership in creating a more inclusive sporting environment that celebrates diversity and welcomes everyone,” he said.

LGBTQIA+ consultation

Jason Garrick, who is an advocate for sport inclusion for the queer community, told QNews he had been working with QRL for almost two years.

“It has been a great privilege to be welcomed by the QRL. I think we can all agree that rugby league is part of the social foundations of communities across Queensland.  It is because of their understanding of their role in communities that the QRL are doing everything they can to ensure any participant in league can see that they are wanted in this code, they are valued and they are important,” Jason explained.

All proceeds from the pride cap will go into bespoke LGBTQIA+ education programs for QRL alongside Pride in Sport.

According to the Writing Themselves In report from La Trobe University, young LGBTQIA+ athletes struggle to be themselves. Less that 30 per cent of young athletes had disclosed their sexuality or gender identity to any teammate.

Jason also believes the merchandise can have a real impact on making LGBTQIA+ people in the sport feel welcome.

“A visible cue like the QRL pride hat in and around the game will help show any participant at any age that there are people in the game wanting you to be here and to be your best self on and off the field.  That message is so important,” he said.

The pride cap is available from the QRL Maroons Shop.

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Dale Roberts

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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