Rugby league’s first-ever inclusion game is so inclusive that it will include everyone… except Christian players.
Half the Manly Sea Eagles team are refusing to wear a gay pride jumper in Thursday night’s game against the Sydney Roosters.
The seven players are understood to be Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula, Christian Tuipulotu and Toafofoa Sipley.
All are deeply religious.
The Manly team had a rainbow jumper designed for players to wear in the game, but the suits in head office forgot to consult with the players who will need to run around in it.
That’s how committed to inclusion they are.
When the players found out via the media that they would be wearing a jumper celebrating homosexuality, up to seven told management they would not be joining in.
If you’re unfamiliar with rugby league, seven players represent more than half the team!
At least Manly has enough players for one side of the field — the left wing.
Club officials now fear the boycott will split the club and wreck their bid to play finals football this season. Thursday night’s match is a must-win for the team.
But don’t imagine the club will backflip on promoting gayness in favour of winning a game of football. They would rather lose the match than face the wrath of LGBTQ activists.
Wokeball now takes precedence over football.
It’s incredible that rugby administrators could be so out of touch with their own team that they did not appear to have considered how the deeply religious beliefs of half their players might be affected by a gay pride round.
Or perhaps they did know, but chose not to care. If you’ve not realised that diversity is a one-way street, you haven’t been paying attention.
Social media slammed the seven Manly players, most of them Islanders, as bigots and as religious hypocrites.
Just on that, it’s interesting to note that Muslim AFLW player Haneen Zreika was allowed to sit out a gay pride game earlier this year with barely any controversy. In fact, she was widely congratulated for standing by her faith with dignity and a minimum of fuss.
And when Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja hesitated to join celebrations after winning the Ashes, his teammates were widely praised for delaying the traditional spraying of beer out of respect for his Muslim faith so that he could join them on the winners’ dais.
So what’s the difference with the Manly players? Why are they not congratulated for the courage of their convictions? Why is their faith not respected?
Simple. They’re Christians.
According to news reports, league bosses rejected requests for religious players to wear the traditional jersey.
The rainbow and traditional jumpers are so close in design that the only reason players not wishing to participate in promoting homosexuality could be denied the ability to stick with their normal jersey (henceforth known as the ‘straight’ jersey) is pig-headed ideology.
Effectively the religious players have been told:
You will celebrate diversity by doing exactly the same thing as everyone else or you will not be included in the inclusion round.
Ironically, the gay jumper is called “Everyone in League”.
Good on the players for insisting they will not wear a gay straitjacket.
What could be more inclusive than both gay and religious islanders having the right to play for the Manly jersey, which they already do? Why should either party be made to feel marginalised by the other?
But where’s the diversity and tolerance if everybody is forced to publicly support a particular point of view, and zero dissent is permitted?
That isn’t inclusion, it’s fanaticism.
What LGBTQ activists fail to understand is that no one cares about the sexuality of players, and no one wants to know.
As long as the players put the football over the try line and kick it through the uprights, no one much cares whether they kiss a woman or a man after the game.
Ironically, it is the gay activists making an issue of sexuality, not the religious players.
It’s more than 20 years since star Manly player Ian Roberts became the first rugby league player to come out as gay. That no-one is interested in the players’ sexual preferences these days shows how far we have come.
To continue banging on about homosexuality is regressive, not progressive.
We agree with gay rights activists that sexuality doesn’t matter. Now just play football.
Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.