Rugby players refuse to play match in protest over LGBT kit

Rugby players refuse to play match in protest over LGBT kit. Image: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles/Instagram

Seven Australian rugby players for Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have withdrawn from playing in a match over LGBT rainbow symbol on their shirt according to Sky News on Tuesday, July 26

Des Hasler is the head coach of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the National Rugby Lead.

Regarding the rugby players who refused to play, he said: “We accept their decision.”

“These young men are strong in their beliefs and their convictions and we will give them the space and the support they require.”

Des Hasler confirmed, “The intent of the jersey was to support the advocacy and human rights pertaining to gender, race, culture, ability and LGBTQ movements.”

“Sadly, the execution of what was intended to be an extremely important initiative was poor. There was little consultation or collaboration between key stakeholders, both inside and outside the club.”

Des Hasler apologised for the confusion and said: “Our intent was to be caring towards all diverse groups who face inclusion issues daily.”

He added: “Sadly this poor management has caused significant confusion, discomfort and pain for many people, in particular those groups whose human rights we are in fact attempting to support.

“We wish to apologise to the LGBTQ community who embrace the rainbow colours, who use these colours for pride and advocacy and human rights issues.”

The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles showcased their new kit in a short video on Twitter with a post that read: “You, Me, Everyone in League.”

Fans were quick to respond to the tweet.

One posted: “Every year there are more and more Pacific Islanders playing NRL who come from conservative faith-based traditions.”

“To mandate, they wear a jersey that contravenes their beliefs, perhaps lacks cultural sensitivity and awareness. I wonder if there is a better win-win solution.”

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Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at