Manly star blasts teammates who boycotted pride jersey

Manly star blasts teammates who boycotted pride jersey

A Manly star has taken aim at those players who refused to wear a rainbow pride jersey and boycotted their last match against the Roosters.

Seven Sea Eagles players opposed the rainbow colours on the jersey on religious and cultural grounds, choosing to stand down from the clash.

Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Manly is fighting for a finals berth but the 20-10 defeat to the Roosters may prove costly and keep them out of the top eight come season’s end.

The club has held crisis meetings in an effort to mend the rift among the playing group but according to a report from Wide World of Sports, one player — who wished to remain anonymous — is still fuming.

“They (the seven) are still saying they weren’t consulted about the pride jersey and it went against the religious a cultural beliefs,” the player told Nine.

“We weren’t consulted when a betting sponsor was placed on our jersey — the guys wear that every week … I’m not sure what their God would say about that.

“No one asked us when our oval was renamed after a brewery (4 Pines Park) — I don’t think their God would have been crazy about that either.

“And I can tell you very few young blokes in our club live by the 10 Commandments — nor most young blokes in Australia for that matter.

“Yet these guys take a stance over a good move by the club to make the gay community feel inclusive in our game.

“They could have said they didn’t support the initiative but to refuse to play with their mates, it doesn’t sit well, and there is something of a rift in the group as a result.

“If those two lost points — and we are confident we would have won (against the Roosters) — cost us a place in the finals, it will take a long time for us to get over it.”

While Manly has tried to downplay talk of a split within the ranks, NRL pundits believe the Sea Eagles are definitely fractured.

“I was told late last week the rift among the players and the team was not reversible, it was quite deep,” The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield told the Big Sports Breakfast earlier this week.

“And the boys who did play, and played quite bravely against the Roosters, could not comprehend why their teammates took such drastic action.

“I think after they got together yesterday, there is a better understanding. I still think there’s a very, very long way to go before it is completely sorted out to a satisfactory position where they’re prepared to have full team camaraderie and strength and spirit.”

Dean Ritchie, also of The Daily Telegraph, told the same Sky Sports radio show: “There is divisions at Manly and anyone who tells you there is not is telling a fib.

“The players that played were dirty on the players that didn’t play.

“They are trying to sort it out and understand each other’s religious beliefs and views, but there is division there.

“You speak to one player and he will say we can move forward from this and you speak to others who say this is going to take a lot longer.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.