NRL great Corey Parker has joined a chorus of former rugby league stars in condemning seven Manly players embroiled in the club’s Pride jersey controversy.
The players stood their ground by refusing to wear the rainbow colored pride jersey.
Josh Aloyai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuupulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakauatu, Tolutau Kula and Toafofoa Siplei are all boycotting Thursday night’s game against the Roosters on religious grounds.
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The players have been slammed by former players, including Jordan Cahoon, and NRLW star Carina Brown said she was “surprised” by her stance.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson called the behavior “unacceptable” and rugby league icons James Graham, Benny Elias and Geoff Tovey have all spoken out in support of the LGBTQIA community.
England rugby league star Keegan Hirst – slams players, NRL 360 host Paul Kent argues rugby league should be “political”.
Parker called for the game to support the “most marginalized” sections of society and said the attitude of sevens players could no longer be tolerated in rugby league.
“As a society and as a game, we’ve changed a lot with the times and become more inclusive,” Parker told foxsports.com.au.
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“We celebrate a lot of communities in our game, but the LGBTQI+ community is one group we often leave alone and they’re very marginalized.
“It was good that he decided to wear the shirt.
“I personally wouldn’t give a sh*t if a guy came out in my group and said, ‘I’m gay.’
Parker pointed out that the religious excuse did not wash with him and that there was hypocrisy on the part of the players in question.
“Men who don’t play are said to be based on religious beliefs. Want to stand up for your religious beliefs? nice. Don’t end up wearing a jersey sponsored by a beer sponsor in a beer-sponsored stadium,” Parker said.
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“Research what’s right and what’s wrong and don’t vote when it’s appropriate, take a moral stand only when it doesn’t affect your lucrative NRL contract.”
“They need to remember that their decisions affect many people more than themselves.
“Will the seven players who refused to play in the rainbow stripes jersey disown them if they later have a child born gay?”
Parker spoke at length on the topic in a column he wrote for CodeSports.
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