NWRL star Brown 'triggered' by Manly pride jersey boycott

By Sports Desk July 27, 2022

NRWL star Karina Brown says she felt "triggered" by the decision of several Manly Warringah Sea Eagles players to prominently boycott wearing a pride-inspired rainbow jersey this week against Sydney Roosters.

The Sea Eagles will be missing seven players for the NRL crunch clash with the Roosters over the club's decision to wear a kit featuring coloured stripes instead of white on the traditional swap.

Boss Des Hasler apologised to both the LGBTQ+ community and the players, who claim they were not consulted on the call, and have cited family, religious and cultural beliefs for their boycott.

Brown, a two-time World Cup winner and prominently out sportswoman, admitted the furore has left her angered, joining the latest list of voices to speak out against the players' decision.

"It did trigger me, if I’m honest," the Queensland and Australian representative told the On Her Game podcast. "I felt a bit enraged and frustrated.

"This jersey is a Women in League round jersey and it's 'everyone in league' ... whether you love someone of the same sex or whether you love Jesus Christ, there’s a place for you here in rugby league.

"To get upset about a jersey with a few added extra colours on the piping to represent everyone in league, not just pride, I was just astounded that was a stance that some players have taken.

"It's just so important. People are realising that discrimination is so hurtful in this society and so we're trying to do something about it.

"[It's] definitely frustrating that we're still talking about it but it does still exist. I can see now why we don’t have an NRL Pride round."

The continued fallout has led to suggestions a designated pride round could be installed in the NRL as soon as next season, with ARLC chairman Peter V'Landys floating the concept as a possibility on Tuesday.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson backed Manly's decision to stick with their jersey, adding that he was frustrated by continued discrimination. 

"It is great what the owners of Manly have decided to do and it is unfortunate that it has panned out this way because everyone is equal, no matter what race, gender, sexual preference, everyone is equal," he stated.

"Let people make their choice and let’s not discriminate against those, and we are still doing that, and that is why it is unfortunate."

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