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Manly Sea Eagles press conference live, LGBTQIA, pride jersey, seven players refusing, which players, Roosters game, Ian Roberts

By on July 26, 2022 0

Manly manager Des Hasler has apologized for “a significant mistake” made by the club amid their Pride shirt controversy.

Hasler has confirmed that seven players will not play against the Roosters on Thursday night following the club’s decision to wear pride jerseys.

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The Sea Eagles will become the first club in rugby league history to wear an LGBTQIA shirt.

“We are here today to apologize for a significant mistake made by the football club,” Hasler said.

“As you know the club launched a shirt for a tour yesterday, we applied rainbow colors to the shirt to replace all the white spaces. In the white lines.

“The intention of our jersey’s rainbow color application was to represent diversity and inclusion for all, using the symbolic colors of pride to embrace all groups who feel marginalized and faced with discrimination and who have a suppressed voice.

Daly Cherry-Evans and Des HaslerSource: FOX SPORTS

“The intention of the jersey was to support advocacy and human rights relating to gender, racial culture, ability and LGBTQ rights.

“Unfortunately, the execution of what was expected to be an extremely important initiative has been poor.

“There has been little consultation or collaboration with key stakeholders. Inside and outside the club. Unfortunately, this poor management and project management has caused a lot of confusion, discomfort and pain for many people.

“Especially these groups that we were actually trying to support human rights. We even had a negative impact on our group of players, a wonderful group of people comprising many different racial and cultural backgrounds.

The Sea Eagles pride jersey. Photo: manly digitalSource: Supplied

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and rugby league boss Peter V’landys have spoken out on the controversy engulfing Manly as coach Des Hasler and captain Daly Cherry-Evans prepare to face the media from midday AEST.

Sea Eagles owner Scott Penn says the club will move forward with their LGBTQIA kit on Thursday, even if it means fielding a weakened team in a game that could have massive implications for their chances in the final.

V’Landys criticized the club for not consulting the players before announcing they would wear a pride shirt, but said he respected the players’ decision.

“I respect player choice, they have religious and cultural differences and that’s the beauty of Australia, we all have those freedoms,” V’Landys said.

“Let me say this though, one thing I’m proud of, in rugby league, is that we treat everyone the same, we’re all human beings, it doesn’t matter what color you are, it doesn’t matter your sexual orientation. , no matter your race, we are all equal and we will never take a step back to make our sport inclusive.

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“But at the same time, we won’t disrespect the freedoms of these players and they have those freedoms and if they don’t wish to play, I respect that, but they are well aware of our policy of inclusion.

“Manly could have handled it better, they could have been much more collaborative with the players, they should have respected the players, they shouldn’t have just thrown it at them.

“Manly confesses that they shouldn’t have done this to them.”

Albanese has praised his friend and Manly legend Ian Roberts who became the first NRL player to come out as gay while playing for the club in 1995.

“He showed incredible courage,” Albanese said.

“He wasn’t the first gay man to play rugby… He was the first to have the courage to come out. And it paved the way for others to do so.

“It’s important in Australian society that we respect everyone for who they are.”

Coach Des Hasler and captain Daly Cherry-Evans will be before the media at 12 p.m. AEST.

Manly pride jersey boycott controversy | 03:08

Players boycott a demonstration in support of diversity and inclusiveness. LGBTQIA refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual people.

“It was totally an inclusivity and diversity jersey,” Penn told SMH.

“It was never just about pride. It was about saying we want everyone in the game and making them feel like they can get involved. The players were put in a position hard.

“We are not going to force them to play, but we are committed to the shirt and we are committed to inclusion. We are not giving up on our position. And we respect their beliefs.

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“It’s just disappointing that we’re here. We don’t want these players to be outcasts, but as a club we celebrate and support everyone. We only did this from a good-hearted standpoint.

Several players posed Monday in the jersey entitled “everyone in the league”, the colors of the rainbow replacing the traditional white stripe.

Sean Keppie, Kieran Foran and Reuben Garrick all smiled for the photos in the shirt, but some of their teammates weren’t happy, calling the club on Monday when they first learned.

Manly coach Des Hasler told the players he would support the decision, “understanding the difficult position the players have been put in because the club did not consult them on the shirt”, according to SMH.

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Sea Eagles great Roberts, the first and only Australian rugby league player to come out openly as gay, was hoping to attend the game on Thursday.

“I try to see it from every angle but it breaks my heart,” Roberts told The Daily Telegraph.

“It’s sad and uncomfortable. As an older gay man, that’s not unheard of. I wondered if there would be a religious retreat. That’s why I think the NRL has never had a Pride round.

“I can promise you that every young kid on the northern beaches who deals with their sexuality has heard of it.”

The loss will reduce the Sea Eagles’ chances of advancing to the final, as they sit in ninth place and face the eighth-placed Roosters on Thursday.

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