Poll: Majority of Australian Rugby Bosses Reject LGBTQI Pride Round

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 28: The Manly Sea Eagles rainbow pride jersey is seen on a player during the round 20 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Sydney Roosters at 4 Pines Park on July 28, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty

Just on 82 percent of Australian rugby league club bosses reject a dedicated Pride Round of competition in support of the LGBTQI community, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Sydney Morning Herald called on 34 national rugby league (NRL) club chief executives and senior managers to join an anonymous survey covering the big issues in the sport. Twenty-five chose to respond.

A reported 82 percent of club bosses told the Herald the NRL should not adopt a Pride Round initiative in the code.

More definitely, 57 percent of respondents said they would not introduce a dedicated Pride team jersey at their club, while 38 percent said they would consider launching a Pride jersey – but only if players consented.

The result follows an uproar in Australian rugby league last year after a decision was made without consultation for Manly Sea Eagles players to wear a gay pride jersey in a round of competition.

The Associated Press

File/Former Australian rugby league player Ian Roberts at a red carpet event for the movie premiere of “Thor: Love and Thunder” in Sydney, Australia, Monday, June 27, 2022. Roberts, who in the 1990s was the first high-profile rugby league player to come out as gay, said he was not surprised seven Manly Sea Eagles players withdrew from a match because they’re unwilling to wear their club’s inclusion jersey. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

At least one respondent in the latest polling quoted by Wide World of Sports said they would introduce a Pride jersey at their club regardless of the players’ views.

Others were not so sure.

“Given what occurred at Manly, why would you not think that would occur at the other 16 clubs given how many Polynesian players – many of whom are obviously religious – are in the NRL?” another club boss anonymously said.

“If the NRL was going to consider such a round, then a round based on inclusivity would be better. You can’t have a Pride Round and promote it as being inclusive if you exclude people’s views of which you do not agree.”

The polling follows last year’s upset in the wake of the Manly club’s decision to create a dedicated Pride jumper, as Breitbart News reported.

Seven Manly players boycotted the game in protest at being told to wear the rainbow jersey, saying they were not consulted.

Coach Des Hasler said the players advised club officials that wearing the Pride jersey conflicted with their cultural, societal and religious beliefs.

“The players will not play on Thursday and we accept their decision,” Hasler said at the time. “These young men are strong in their beliefs and convictions and we will give them the space and support they require.

“The playing group are solid and understanding of each other’s views. As a club we will wear the jersey on Thursday night.”

Players in other Australian sports previously refused to wear jerseys with advertising or supporting messages which conflict with their religious beliefs.

In 2016, Pakistan-born Australian cricketer Fawad Ahmed was allowed to play in a team shirt which did not carry the logo of the Australian team’s beer sponsor.

Cricket Australia agreed to the request by the Muslim leg-spinner not to wear the sponsorship logo of beer brand VB because of his faith’s ban on alcohol, as Breitbart News reported.

South African batsman Hashim Amla, also a Muslim, is another player permitted not to wear the logo of Cricket South Africa sponsor Castle, a beer company, on his kit as it conflicted with his anti-alcohol religious beliefs.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com

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