Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Photo by Manly Digital
Tomorrow night the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles take on the Sydney Roosters in a game that could decide who finishes in eighth place on the NRL ladder and qualifies for the finals.
However, that is not the main talking point heading into the game as the Sea Eagles have revealed the pride jersey that they will be wearing to show their support for the LGBTQIA community.
Seven of the club’s players will be sitting out of the game as a result of this situation that has divided the NRL’s fanbase.
Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V’Landys has been asked about the boycott and went on to reveal that the NRL is considering a pride round for season 2023 when speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald.
We are very proud that we are a game for everybody,” said V’Landys.
“That’s why I’m in this game, because I had a difficulty being accepted as a migrant and rugby league accepted me.
“It was inclusive back then and it is inclusive now. It’s important that every boy and girl and man and woman can go to the game and feel they can be treated the same as everyone else.”
Yesterday the Rugby League Players Association put out a statement about Manly’s pride jersey situation and how they believe that poor communication is the cause of this.
“I don’t know if that changes teams’ tactics in terms of how they tackle or the factor of line-speed with the potential to have less time to make tackles.” 🗣 Dale Finucane
Recap on a big night at the judiciary. 📰
— NRL (@NRL) July 26, 2022
“It’s not about choosing sides,” read the statement.
“As the players’ association we were aware of the situation on Monday, but our understanding was that it was still being worked through between players and the Manly club as an employer and employee matter.
“We welcome clubs and players coming together to respectfully work through their differing viewpoints.
“Unfortunately, when it came to this initiative, it’s clear there had been a communication breakdown between the decision makers at the club and the broader playing group.
“We would have hoped there had been a process between players, club and other stakeholders that was worked through and everyone’s views could be safely heard.”
The Sea Eagles have not backed down and will wear the jersey tomorrow night against the Roosters while a pride round in 2023 has not been confirmed as of yet.