Kyle, Albo, Ian Roberts, Latham & More Weigh In On Manly’s Pride Jersey Fiasco; As It’s Officially Sold Out!

Kyle, Albo, Ian Roberts, Latham & More Weigh In On Manly’s Pride Jersey Fiasco; As It’s Officially Sold Out!

Kyle and Jackie O have led a chorus of media stars slamming the seven players from the Manly NRL team who are refusing to wear a special Pride jersey for this Thursday’s game against the Sydney Roosters.

What has turned out to be a PR nightmare for the club, seven players of Islander background are now refusing to play in the shirt and will reportedly sit out the game due to their Christian faith.

However, there are reports this morning that three of the players have now reneged on their threat amid growing calls for their sacking.

In better news, reports this morning say the rainbow tinted jersey is now officially a sell out with fans!

The club unveiled the jumper – called Everyone in League – on Monday to promote inclusivity of LGBTQIA+ people in the NRL.

Many people have pointed out the irony of the boycott with Manly sponsored by betting firm Pointsbet and its home ground sponsored by the beer brand 4 Pines. Club bosses this morning said they had no plans to abandon the jersey for this week’s game.

Manly players Sean Keppie (left), Kieran Foran (middle) and Reuben Garrick model the Pride jersey

On his radio show this morning, Sandilands said: “The whole excuse of religion doesn’t make sense. If they’re all playing in a stadium sponsored by alcohol and all the jerseys are sponsored by a gambling company, it makes no sense.” He went on to add that the player’s boycott could suggest an insecurity with their own sexuality.

Even PM Anthony Albanese weighed in on the jersey debacle: “I hope this is resolved. It’s a good thing that sport is more inclusive. It is important that in Australian society we respect everyone for who they are.”

Controversial politician Mark Latham (predictably) supported the boycotting players: “When politics comes into sport it can never be ‘inclusive’. The Woke Left want us all to express our pride in homosexuality and LGBTIQAP alphabet on a daily basis. But why should footballers have to do this when it has nothing to do with winning footy games? There’s a big difference between acceptance and the active promotion of sexuality,” Latham said.

Daily Telegraph and Fox League journalist Paul Kent pointed the finger of blame at Manly management and not the dissenting players and said the powers-that-be should be “embarrassed” by their handling of the whole affair.

Kent said on the panel show NRL 360 last night: “The players only became aware they were wearing this jersey this morning when they read it in the newspaper.

“Because of their own cultural and religious beliefs they have an issue with it and it’s to be dealt with and has to be dealt with fairly quickly.

“Manly did this without any consultation of the players, they did it without board approval, it didn’t get raised at board level. It’s basically a marketing decision and they just assumed that everything was OK,” Kent said.

Media and queer personality Abbie Chatfield slammed the players on her radio program last night. “It’s just embarrassing for them. Like, sorry that you are so weak and so fragile that you can’t handle having a strip of rainbow across your chest and across your neck to support communities who aren’t included most of the time,” Chatfield said.

The NRL’s most famous gay player and Manly club legend, Ian Roberts, described the whole affair as “heart breaking”.

The 56-year-old telling The Daily Telegraph: “It’s sad and uncomfortable. As an older gay man, this isn’t unfamiliar. I did wonder whether there would be any religious push back. That’s why I think the NRL have never had a Pride round.

“I can promise you every young kid on the northern beaches who is dealing with their sexuality would have heard about this,” Roberts said.

A quick search of social media and it appears opinion is divided. Many people blaming Manly management for not consulting the players, while others said the players were paid handsomely to do as they were told.

“Wear your work uniform like you’re paid to do,” penned one.

Another added: “I’d prefer to stand down than to be forced to support something I don’t agree with. Acceptance is one thing but supporting something you think isn’t right is an invasion of a person’s rights.”

“Imagine if these players were objecting to wearing the Indigenous round jersey because of their religious beliefs. There is no difference between racism and homophobia,” said another.

Another penned: “Should boycott the Manly Sea Eagles until they’re sacked.”

It’s not the first time Australian sport has been embroiled in player’s taking a stance on sexuality.

Wallaby Israel Falou was famously sacked by Rugby Australia for his views many deemed as homophobic back in 2019. Interestingly, other Islander players in the Wallabies supported Falou’s stance, although were apparently too scared to speak out for losing their lucrative contracts.

In January this year, Haneen Zreika, a practising Muslim playing for the Greater Western Sydney AFLW also refused to wear the team’s Pride jersey and promptly sat out the game to little fanfare or media interest.

Arguably not in the same league as someone’s sexuality, but Muslim players have refused to wear alcohol brands on their uniforms which has normally been accepted by the sport’s officialdom. Cricket Australia allowed spinner Fawad Ahmed to ditch the VB logo on his uniform back in 2014.

In 2020, rugby player and Muslim, Sonny Bill Williams, was playing for the Toronto Wolfpack on a $10 million contract and refused to wear the team’s jersey that was sponsored by a sports betting company.

At the end of this year’s Ashes, Australian cricket captain stopped the spraying of Champagne at the trophy presentation out of respect for Aussie batter Usman Khawaja’s Muslim faith.






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    1. Of course every body who thinks they’re a sombody (politicians, radio jocks, so called ‘celebrities) has got to have ‘their’ say & adopts the ‘woke’ course of attacking these players position.
      So how about they do a “I love Jesus” round with a Christian themed Jersey and see how much they then come out in defence and support of these beliefs……

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