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Manly Sea Eagles, LGBTIQA, pride jersey, seven players refusing, which players, Roosters game, Ian Roberts

Seven Manly players have been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Roster following the club’s decision to wear the Pride jersey.

Josh Aloyai, Jason Saab, Christian Tupulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakauatu, Tolutau Kula and Toafofoa Siplei will not play, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Sea Eagles are set to become the first club in NRL history to wear an LGBTIQA kit, but will exclude players who object on religious and cultural grounds.

They are boycotting the show in support of diversity and inclusion. LGBTIQA refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/queer and homosexual people.

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Several Manly players wore “Everybody in the League” shirts on Monday, with rainbow colors replacing the traditional white stripes.

Sean Keppie, Kieran Foran and Reuben Garrick all smiled for photos in their shirts, but some of their teammates were not happy, calling the club on Monday when they first found out.

Disgruntled players say they were not consulted by the club before learning the historic strip would be worn this week.

Manly manager Des Hassler told the SMH he supported the players’ decision, “understanding the difficult situation the players are in and the club did not consult on the shirt”.

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The club have called for an emergency meeting from Tuesday to Monday night to try to fix the problem that has plagued their play-off hopes.

The great Ian Roberts, the first rugby league player to come out as openly gay, had hoped to attend the game this Thursday.

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“I try to look at it from all angles but it breaks my heart,” Roberts told The Daily Telegraph.

“It’s sad and uncomfortable. As an older gay man, this is not unusual. I wondered if there was a religious push. I think that’s why the NRL has never had a pride round.

“I promise all the young kids on the northern beaches who are dealing with their sexuality will hear about this.”

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