Angry Rugby Players Refuse to Play after Being Forced to Wear Gay Pride Jersey
The shirt has a rainbow design replacing the strip’s traditional white hoops
More than seven players from the Manly rugby league club in Sydney, Australia, have threatened to boycott their match after being forced to wear a gay pride jersey in the fixture.
Management of the Sea Eagles announced on Sunday night players would wear an LGBTQIA+ jersey for the match.
The shirt has a rainbow design replacing the strip’s traditional white hoops.
ABC News Australia reported:
That decision has caused upset among some players unhappy they were not consulted by club management.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley have stood down over the matter.
The seven players opposed the decision to wear the jersey on cultural and religious grounds.
Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler reportedly told the players he understood they were put in a difficult decision.
He later said he supported their decision not to play.
This is not the first time a rugby player in Australia has made a point of stating his religious beliefs clash with homosexuality.
Australian rugby star Israel Folau sparked a fierce backlash in 2017 after he entered the country’s debate on same-sex marriage.
At the time he said he would not support a proposal to make it legal.
Folau, a devout Christian, went public with his view on social media.
I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. but personally, I will not support gay marriage.✌❤🙏— Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) September 13, 2017
Folau was raised as a Mormon but he and his family switched to the Assemblies of God church in 2011 before he became a born-again Christian in 2017.
GoFundMe shut down a crowdfund for Australian rugby star Israel Folau, who was fired for an anti-gay social media post. It said the fund to cover his legal battle against Australia's rugby association violated its rules against discrimination. pic.twitter.com/bL1g0d5sU4— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 25, 2019
The player also sparked outrage later that month.
The player in a sermon that destructive bushfires and drought that ravaged Australia in 2020 were “God’s judgement” for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and abortion.