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Player revolt looming over NRL club’s pride jersey

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Manly is facing a player revolt which could turn ugly over a jersey promoting the inclusion of LGBTQ community in rugby league.

The Sea Eagles announced players will wear the rainbow-adorned jersey during their round 20 NRL game against the Roosters at Brookvale Oval.

But Nine’s Danny Weidler revealed “up to seven players don’t want to wear a pride jersey this week and are considering not playing”.

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“It’s a very delicate story that is unfolding,” Weidler told 9News.

“There’s set to be an emergency meeting soon between the players and management.

“I was hearing this afternoon up to seven players objected to the pride jersey, and late today four to five players were seriously considering not playing in the game.

“The news coming out of Manly is they are likely to allow the players not to play this game to honour their beliefs, so that could be quite a significant development. The reason is the club did not consult their players before the jersey was initiated.”

The news came only hours after the club unveiled the “Everyone In League” jersey, which features rainbow colours where would normally be plain white.

Interim Sea Eagles CEO Gary Wolman had spoken positively and said the club was proud of the jersey.

“The Sea Eagles have such a rich and diverse history in rugby league and in the community,” Wolman said.

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“To be able to bring this concept to life with Dynasty sport is a fantastic achievement and we are pleased to be able to share such an important message that means so much to many people in the community.”

Ian Roberts – the Manly legend who was the first professional rugby league player to come out as gay – is reportedly planning to attend Thursday’s game to support the cause.

Manly must name a 22-player squad for the game on Tuesday afternoon.

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