Seven players from Australia’s Sydney rugby league team Manly Sea Eagles have refused to play out in a rainbow jersey in support of the LGBTQ community. They cited “religious, cultural and family concerns” as reasons. The boycott is causing a lot of discussion, in which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also intervened. He hopes the matter will be settled quickly because it is “a good thing that sport is becoming more inclusive,” he said on Wednesday.
Because of their resistance, the pros will not be used in the important game against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday. “In this specific case, I also feel for these players. They were not included in the discussions about the shirt,” said Manly manager Des Hasler, referring to the club’s decision to send the players onto the field in the Pride shirt. “At the very least, they should have been consulted.”
At the same time, Hasler apologized to all minority groups and the LGBTQ community. “Our intention was to be sensitive and passionate about advocating for all the different groups that face inclusion issues on a daily basis,” he was quoted as saying by the AAP news agency. The English abbreviation LGBTQ stands for people who have different identities and sexual orientations.