'Significant mistakes': Manly coach apologises, acknowledges pride jersey execution was 'poor'

Web Story by - Marathiwiki

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Des Hasler said he is concerned for the welfare of the seven rugby league players who stood down from Thursday's match because they do not want to wear the pride jersey, due to religious and cultural reasons.

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Manly Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler has apologised to players and the wider community for the rollout of a pride jersey that has landed the club in controversy.

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The Sea Eagles launched the first-ever rugby league pride jersey on Monday to represent the LGBTIQ+ community for Thursday's NRL match against the Sydney Roosters.

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The jersey features a rainbow design, generally known as a symbol of LGBTIQ+ pride.

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But the significance of the move has been shrouded in drama after seven players told the Sydney-based club's management if they cannot wear an alternative jersey,

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they are likely to sit out the important game that could impact the team's chances of making the finals.

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In a personal announcement to reporters, Hasler said players should have been consulted before the jersey was launched, which overshadowed a significant milestone for the club.

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He revealed no coaching staff or players had prior knowledge of the jersey before it was launched.

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"The jersey's intent was to support the advocacy and human rights pertaining to gender, race, culture, ability and LGBTQ rights. Sadly, the execution of what was intended to be an extremely important initiative was poor," Hasler said.

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"Our intent was to be caring and compassionate towards all diverse groups who face inclusion issues daily. However, instead of enhancing tolerance, and acceptance, we may have hindered this. This was the opposite of our intent.

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"We wish to sincerely apologise for significant mistakes we have made."

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