‘Pro-gay, Anti-Manly’ rainbow jersey goes on sale as showbiz and sports stars slam Manly players

Popular Australian satirical website The Betoota Advocate is selling a ‘Pro-gay, Anti Manly’ footy top to their readers online – as Manly’s rainbow strip fiasco continues to outrage sports and showbiz stars.

The limited-edition jersey is available for $39.99 and is predominately white with rainbow colours – and also features the Advocate’s iconic logo.

Additionally, the words ‘Pro Gay, Anti-Manly’ are clearly visible on the front of the strip and all proceeds from the sales will go to charity.

It is available in a number of sizes, and many Sea Eagles fans are tipped to wear the jersey over the next few weeks at NRL grounds across Australia.

The development comes as Magda Szubanski has accused the seven Sea Eagles stars who will boycott their NRL game against the Roosters of failing to show the tolerance their religion teaches.

The comedian and television personality is the latest to weigh in on the ongoing saga, which continues to dominate headlines and threatens to overshadow the Women in League NRL round.

Australian satirical website The Betoota Advocate is offering a 'Pro-gay, Anti Manly' footy jersey to their readers to purchase online following the fiasco that has played out this week

Australian satirical website The Betoota Advocate is offering a ‘Pro-gay, Anti Manly’ footy jersey to their readers to purchase online following the fiasco that has played out this week

TV star Magda Szubanski has accused the seven Sea Eagles stars who will boycott their NRL game versus the Roosters after refusing to wear a pride jersey of failing to show the tolerance their religion teaches

TV star Magda Szubanski has accused the seven Sea Eagles stars who will boycott their NRL game versus the Roosters after refusing to wear a pride jersey of failing to show the tolerance their religion teaches

Ms Szubanski tweeted the importance of a 'tolerant society that accepts difference'

Ms Szubanski tweeted the importance of a ‘tolerant society that accepts difference’

In a bombshell development, Manly stars Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolu Koula and Toafofoa Sipley have been told to stay away from 4 Pines Park on Sydney’s northern beaches on Thursday by NSW Police due to safety concerns.

The players opted to boycott the round 20 clash versus the Roosters as they felt the pride jersey their teammates will wear in a historic first for the code doesn’t align with their cultural and religious beliefs.

Szubanski took to Twitter on Wednesday night to call for the players to show the tolerance their Christian faith was supposed to teach.

‘Thought experiment: imagine if Manly players were asked to wear stripes to let religious players and fans know they are welcome,’ the outspoken star began.

‘Then imagine an atheist player refuses to wear the stripes coz (sic) their ‘belief’ (based on fact) is that millions have been killed in the name of religion.

‘Religious tolerance doesn’t mean you condone or believe in the other’s religion. It means that you accept the right of difference to exist. That you support a world where people are not excluded or persecuted because of their religion. All we ask, is for the same courtesy.’

Manly's seven pride jersey boycotters have been banned from attending Thursday's NRL match against the Sydney Roosters at 4 Pines Park, including Josh Schuster (pictured) on the advice of NSW Police

Manly’s seven pride jersey boycotters have been banned from attending Thursday’s NRL match against the Sydney Roosters at 4 Pines Park, including Josh Schuster (pictured) on the advice of NSW Police

Manly's supporters are tipped to be out in force to support their new look team on Thursday at 4 Pines Park

Manly’s supporters are tipped to be out in force to support their new look team on Thursday at 4 Pines Park

She pointed out that while many current NRL players have opened up about their staunch religious beliefs, none are openly gay.

Manly legend Ian Roberts made history as the first rugby league player in the world to come out in 1995.

‘In a nutshell – the reason we don’t all kill one another is tolerance,’ Szubanski wrote.

‘The Manly players are being asked to decide if they believe in supporting a tolerant society – one that allows difference.

‘Note that they’re PLENTY of players who feel safe to be open about their religion But no current players who feel safe to be open about their sexuality. That tells us where the injustice lies.’

Jesinta Franklin, the wife of AFL superstar Lance Franklin made her views clear about Manly’s pride jersey saga on Instagram.

She shared a post by media personality Mia Freedman, which showed husband Buddy in a Sydney Swans pride jersey.

‘This is how it’s done,’ the post reads. A slogan above Buddy’s head says: ‘Everyone is welcome at the footy.’

Buddy Franklin's wife has aimed a dig at the Manly Sea Eagles for their controversial stance

Buddy Franklin’s wife has aimed a dig at the Manly Sea Eagles for their controversial stance

Jesinta Franklin (left) took to social media to fire back at the seven NRL boycotting players

Jesinta Franklin (left) took to social media to fire back at the seven NRL boycotting players 

A-League star Josh Cavallo – who came out last October – also vented his frustration at the seven NRL players, stating it was a ‘dangerous message’ to send to their teammates who may be struggling with their sexuality ‘in silence’.

‘We now know that these players would not welcome an LGBTQ teammate or fan. It actually shows us that having a gay or bisexual teammate bothers them,’ Cavallo told the Sydney Morning Herald.

He said the fiasco is ‘another example of how sports remain a highly visible reminder that homophobia exists’, and pointed out that just because an NRL player hasn’t come out, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

‘Don’t assume we are all straight. The lack of ‘out’ rugby [league] players doesn’t mean that they’re not playing and competing alongside you,’ he said.

Most damningly, Cavallo said: ‘To not have this support from your teammates can be devastating to a closeted player’.

Last year the Adelaide United star said he was exhausted from ‘living this double life’, and could no longer stay in the proverbial closet.

‘Growing up I always felt the need to hide myself because I was ashamed – ashamed I would never be able to do what I love and be gay,’ Cavallo said in the video.

Openly gay A-League player Josh Cavallo has slammed the seven Manly NRL players who refused to wear the club's pride jumper

Openly gay A-League player Josh Cavallo has slammed the seven Manly NRL players who refused to wear the club’s pride jumper

Josh Cavallo models Adelaide United's pride jersey they wore to showcase the support for their midfielder earlier this year

Josh Cavallo models Adelaide United’s pride jersey they wore to showcase the support for their midfielder earlier this year

It also comes after reports emerged of an unnamed gay junior Sea Eagles player, who was shattered over the stance on the new strip.

Adelaide United played in a rainbow pride jersey against the Central Coast Mariners earlier this year, something Cavallo said at the time was a ‘fantastic opportunity to show that everyone is welcome’.

This was despite an un-named teammate reportedly having similar religious-based concerns like the Manly players – but he wanted to support Cavallo and wore the jersey with the permission of a representative of his faith.

Elsewhere, ARL Commission Chairman Peter V’Landys believes the NRL could stage a Pride Round as early as next year – despite the Manly Sea Eagles rainbow jersey debacle this week.

Speaking on Sky News‘ AM Agenda on Wednesday, the footy supremo also stated it it is an ‘all or nothing’ approach when it comes to footy stars wearing a pride jersey in NRL games.

The Manly Sea Eagles will wear this pride jersey in their game against the Roosters at on Thursday night at 4 Pines Park

The Manly Sea Eagles will wear this pride jersey in their game against the Roosters at on Thursday night at 4 Pines Park

Manly prop Josh Aloiai is one of the seven Manly stars who will not be playing on Thursday night due to the pride jersey being worn

Manly prop Josh Aloiai is one of the seven Manly stars who will not be playing on Thursday night due to the pride jersey being worn

V’Landys was responding to a question from journalist Laura Jayes, who asked if the seven Manly footballers who refused to wear a rainbow jersey could potentially have worn ‘normal’ playing kits for the clash against the Roosters at 4 Pines Park on Thursday.

That left-field scenario was quickly dismissed by V’Landys, as it ‘sends the wrong signal.’

‘We will certainly look into it (hosting a Pride Round),’ he said.

‘In sport, we are all one. Of course, the players have the freedom of choice, that is part of living in Australia (in a democracy.)

‘If you are gay, you are not different…our message is, you are one of us, you are still the same.’

Leave a Comment