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NBL team embroiled in Pride jersey drama with players reportedly 'hesitant' to wear rainbow logo

Max Sherry

| Last updated 

NBL team embroiled in Pride jersey drama with players reportedly 'hesitant' to wear rainbow logo

Australian sport has become embroiled in yet another Pride jersey saga with players from an NBL team reportedly 'hesitant' to wear their club's rainbow logo.

This latest rainbow jersey debate comes less than six months after the same sort of incident happened with the Manly Sea Eagles in the NRL.

Now, according to Newscorp, several players from the Cairns Taipans are also reluctant to wear a rainbow logo on their singlets to support the LGBTQIA+ community, citing their religious beliefs.

The reports suggests the NBL, which is basketball's governing body and top competition in Australia, will not force the Taipans players to don the logo for the team's upcoming game against the South East Melbourne Phoenix.

This means only a portion of the players will wear strips featuring the rainbow logo.

It errors a similar situation that occurred in the NRL last season when the Manly Sea Eagles became engulfed in a debate which would make headlines around the world.

When news broke that the Sydney-based club would be releasing and wearing a rainbow 'Everyone in League' jersey, several players threatened to boycott the team's upcoming game as they refused to don the kit.

With both parties refusing to back down, it sparked a broader debate with fans and pundits alike all having their say.

After what seemed like weeks of back-and-forth, the players-in-question were ultimately stood down on religious ground and an understrength Manly side played out their game against the Sydney Roosters wearing the jersey.

Neither players, or the club itself, came out of the ordeal in a particularly good light.

Now the same discussion has resurfaced once again, this time in basketball.

Except unlike the Sea Eagles, the Taipans don't seem to have publicised the release of their one-off jersey across their social media channels ahead of the NBL's Pride Round.

But it's not just in Australia where these debates are emerging as the NHL, hockey's pro league, had a similar incident occur recently.

Contrastingly, the NHL chose not to condemn Ivan Provorov after the Philadelphia Flyers star refused to turn up to warm-ups after he disagreed with his team's decision to have its players wear rainbow-coloured jerseys.

And when Provorov's push-back about the jerseys made its way into the media, the Flyers ended up switching back to their normal kits and Provorov subsequently played.

"I respect everybody and I respect everybody's choices," the devout Russian Orthodox said after the game.

"My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That's all I'm going to say."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Cairns Taipans

Topics: Basketball, Australia

Max Sherry
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