A war of words has erupted between Manly star Josh Aloiai and NRL legend Corey Parker as the after-effects of the Sea Eagles pride jersey scandal continue to roll on.
The Manly player was one of seven teammates who refused to wear a uniform containing rainbow stripes in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Earlier this week, Aloiai broke his silence in which he insisted his openly-gay sister completely understood his stance while also taking aim at the media scrutiny.
One media personality, in particular, drew the ire of the Manly prop - that being Brisbane Broncos legend Corey Parker.
Aloiai said: “Corey Parker — he came and said, 'Don't pick and choose'. He hammered us in the media. 'You ran out with your gambling sponsor jerseys and your beer sponsor stadium'.
“I would love for him to show me in the Bible where it mentions gambling. It doesn't. Nor does it forbid alcohol within itself. But he's an idiot."
Parker, who played 19 games for the Maroons, wasn’t going to take the remark lying down.
The 40-year-old took exception to the comments and claimed Aloiai’s argument ‘didn’t make sense’.
He told The Courier-Mail: “I saw the interview and Aloiai is entitled to his opinion.
“To be honest, he didn’t make sense.
“Since that day, those guys cost their club a chance to play semis and they got their head coach sacked, it’s all off the back of that (gay-pride issue).”
Parker also refused to believe Aloiai’s sister would be okay with the player’s refusal to wear the jersey.
He continued: “Some of his comments are contradictory. Like, he said his sister is gay. His own sister. He grew up in a household where his sibling was gay and he won’t wear the jersey ... what is that?”
“How would she feel about his stance?
“It’s just garbage and now he is saying he will do it again next year. Do these guys not realise who pays the bills and who pays their wages?”
The seven player’s decision to not wear the pride jersey in round 20 against the Roosters ultimately led to run of poor form and ultimately cost coach Des Hasler’s job.
Despite their stance, Aloiai had maintained that he had respect for the LGBTQIA+ community, and claimed he and his family turned into the victims.
The front-rower revealed that he and his family had also received death threats as a result of their stance.
He said: “We still have nothing but respect for people that choose to live that way of life. We don't personally want to live that way or endorse it, but at the same time, we quietly took our stance, we didn't say anything hateful or hurtful.
"Instead, we were the ones that were called everything under the sun. Death threats, my family got threats, I got threats about my son.
"I jumped off social media for a little while just to have a little detox."
Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied.
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- Manly Sea Eagles player says his gay sister 'totally understood' his decision to not wear club's rainbow pride jersey