Huge majority of NRL club executives oppose the launch of a pride round
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The vast majority of NRL executives are against the launch of a Pride Round in the competition.
In a canvass conducted by the Sydney Morning Herald, it was found that 82 per cent of NRL chief executives and chairpersons weren’t open to the implementation of the round dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community.
34 NRL club bosses were approached across various issues in the sport with 25 of those surveyed responding.
Last season, controversy plagued the NRL after seven Manly players decided to boycott the club’s rainbow Pride jersey, citing a religious and cultural reasons.
The NRL was excluded from this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, according to Wide World of Sport.
While ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys has claimed that the saga wasn’t the reason for their commission, the league’s support of the LGBTQIA+ community has faced scrutiny in recent times.
The recent survey reflects a reluctance from those in charge to implement a Pride Round to celebrate the community.
Based on the results of the survey, 57 per cent of respondents said they would outright not introduce a Pride jersey at their time.
On the other hand, 38 per cent said they would consider releasing a Pride jersey as long as players agreed.
At least one said they would be open to introducing a Pride jersey regardless of the players’ views.
One club boss anonymously told the Herald: “Given what occurred at Manly, why would you not think that would occur at the other 16 clubs given how many Polynesian players – many of whom are obviously religious – are in the NRL?
"If the NRL was going to consider such a round, then a round based on inclusivity would be better. You can't have a Pride Round and promote it as being inclusive if you exclude people's views of which you do not agree."
The comments follow suit of V’landys suggestion of a ‘Respect Round’ rather than a Pride Round that would ‘include everyone’ regardless of sexual preference.
Last week, Cronulla Sharks star and proud member of the Pride community Toby Rudolf told the SPORTbible Daily Podcast that ‘99 per cent of the rugby league community’ was supportive of all sexual orientations.
Rudolf became a powerful advocate for the community within the NRL after his comments following the Manly jersey sagaa.
He said: “My uncle, who is gay, came and watched my games throughout my entire childhood and not once was he ever harassed or were any negative comments thrown toward him.
“The rugby league community is a loving one.
“My views are shared amongst just about everyone except for those minority of people who don’t feel the same way, but there are going to be a minority in any community.”
Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Topics: NRL, Australia, Rugby League