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

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 an LGBTQIA-themed jersey.

Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley are not playing after stepping down for religious and cultural reasons.

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The Sea Eagles will still wear the kit on Thursday and become the first NRL club in history to run out of LGBTQIA kit.

“We are here today to apologize for a significant error made by Manly Sea Eagles Football Club,” Hasler said.

“As you know, the club yesterday launched a shirt for the Women in League round.

“We applied rainbow colors to the jersey to replace all white space and 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, faced with discrimination and who have a suppressed voice.

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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 movements.

“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 whose human rights we were actually trying to support.

“We even negatively affected our group of players, a wonderful group of people comprising many different racial and cultural backgrounds.”

“We sincerely wish to apologize for the mistakes we made.”

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

Manly players Sean Keppie, Kieran Foran and Reuben Garrick posed in the ‘everyone in the league’ jersey on Monday.

Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans said the group of players were united and looking to find a “silver lining” for the saga.

“The situation we’re in right now, unfortunately, we’re not going to make everyone happy,” Cherry-Evans said.

“Like many things in life, we can’t make everyone happy, so I tried to make it very clear that as a person you have the right to do your own actions and that those actions come with consequences and repercussions.

“We just have to make sure that if any of these things get too out of control, we’re there to support our teammates in their decisions.

“Sometimes the most difficult situation in sport is trying to deal with situations that are beyond your control, but one thing they can control as a playing group is accepting the decision that certain players have made. and trying to find a silver lining in all of this. this.

“There will be 17 players there to celebrate inclusivity and diversity, so hopefully we can start paying attention to the good intentions that have been expressed.”

Manly’s Sean Keppie, Kieran Foran and Reuben Garrick in the Sea Eagles pride jersey. Photo: manly digitalSource: Supplied

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and ARLC chairman Peter V’landys spoke out earlier on Tuesday on the controversy engulfing Manly.

V’Landys criticized the club for not consulting the players and said he respected their decision not to play.

“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 manly legend Ian Roberts who became the first NRL player to come out as gay while playing for the club in 1995.

“It’s a good thing that the sport is more inclusive. Ian Roberts is a friend of mine and 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.”

Manly pride jersey boycott controversy | 03:08

The pride jersey is a show of support for diversity and inclusiveness. LGBTQIA refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual people.

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 Finals, as they sit in ninth place and face the Roosters, Eels, Titans, Sharks, Raiders and Bulldogs to close the season.

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