NRLW player Karina Brown has detailed her anger at the Mali Sea Eagles Pride jersey after seven players refused to wear it.
Brown in 2010
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Speaking to host Sam Squires about the scandal on her ‘On Her Game’ podcast, Brown said she was shocked by the move.
“If I’m honest, it woke me up. I felt angry and frustrated and then I decided to dig a little deeper and find out the whole story… when I dug deeper I realized it wasn’t even the Pride jersey that made it worse.
“This jersey is for everyone in league… whether you love someone of the same sex or love Jesus Christ, there is a place for you in rugby league.
“To be upset about a shirt with extra colors, on the pipe… I was surprised by the attitude of some players.
“It’s constantly frustrating.
Because yes, we are becoming a more active society.
“And the next generation is more open-minded and open-hearted.
“People are realizing that discrimination is very harmful in society and we are trying to do something about it.
“It’s disappointing that it still exists.”
A photo of Brown and Foliacki kissing after the 2018 State of Origin clash was met with disdain from fans, with one saying it was a “bad move” by the NRL. The NRL commented: “Welcome to 2018… I can’t wait for you to join us!” He responded by saying.
In the days since the post went viral, Brown has spoken out about her hopes for the sport that one day the image above will simply be considered normal.
“I think it’s good to see the world, to show how far we’ve come as a society. To show that we still have a way to go. Not all of the comments were positive,” she wrote in a column for Gamers Voice.
“It’s still a shock to some people. I think the more we can get it out there, the more it doesn’t matter if you’re the one, the less shocking it becomes. It will be normal. It is normal.
I look forward to the day when my time with Vanessa becomes a regular photo after the game. And I don’t think we’re far from that.”
The seven players who have been banned from the Pride jersey were added a step further when it was announced on Wednesday that they would not be available for Thursday night’s game against the Sydney Roosters.
Manly officials excused their absence after speaking to the players and the club’s security staff.
Former NRL star Jordan Kahu has come down on seven Manly players and condemned them for their actions in a move that could affect the next generation.
Kahu’s scathing criticism comes hot on the heels of Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson blasting the boycott.