MP blasts Manly jersey debacle

Published 9:54am 29 July 2022

MP blasts Manly jersey debacle
Words by Jodie Powell

Seven Manly Rugby League players who missed last night’s match against the Sydney Roosters because they refused to wear a rainbow-trimmed pride jersey should have been allowed to do their jobs, according to Longman MP Terry Young.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr Young said it was unfair the Sea Eagles players were forced into a position where they felt they could not play because they did not want to wear the jersey.

Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley refused to wear the jersey with a rainbow strip in support of the LGBTQIA+ community because of their religious beliefs.

Manly lost the match against the Roosters 20-10.

A video on Mr Young’s Facebook page has attracted almost 300 reactions, more than 150 comments and 28 shares, with opinions on his speech divided.

Some supported his stance, but others questioned the need to make the speech saying more pressing local issues deserved his attention in Parliament.

Mr Young’s office has been contacted for comment.

“I rise today in support of the seven Manly Rugby League players and their stance on refusing to wear a jersey in this weekend’s NRL round,” he said.

|“These seven individuals are not allowed to go to work for refusing to wear something that goes against there personal beliefs, which is simply ridiculous.”|

Watch the speech

Mr Young said as an employer for more than 30 years he had never asked staff to wear a uniform with a logo or badge that had social issue connotations.

“Nor would I, because as their employer it was not my job to push my personal views onto them.”

He called into question Manly management’s argument the rainbow strip supported inclusivity.

“Now I was not aware that homosexuals were not allowed to play in the NRL and if that’s the case that should change,” Mr Young said.

“But we all know that they can play in the NRL.

“Ergo, they are already included, so why do they need to promote inclusiveness?

|“The last Census showed that apparently Christians are now a minority, so does this mean that as a minority group to promote inclusiveness the NRL should have a round where every team wears a crucifix?|

“Good luck seeing that happen.

“And, by the way, I would not support that either.

“No. This is just another example of the woke culture that says anyone can have an opinion as long as it’s the same as mine.

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