A Manly Sea Eagles staff member who advised the club against wearing a rainbow pride jersey has reportedly been fired.
Kristie Fulton, who is the daughter of Manly legend Bob Fulton, claims she was 'sacked and marched out of her work in tears', per the Daily Mail.
According to the Daily Telegraph, elite pathways manager Fulton was 'blindsided' and 'caught off guard' when Sea Eagles CEO Tony Mestrov ordered her into his office on Friday and terminated her contract on the spot.
Her redundancy came just a few short months after she voiced her concerns with the club's rainbow 'Everyone in League' strip.
It's understood Fulton told club officials that player pushback could prove to be an issue with the unveiling of the kit – which, as we now know, it ultimately was.
Given her close relationship with the Polynesian players and having knowledge of their religious beliefs, she allegedly told officials that 'the club needs to be careful about making political and social statements and we should look at this'.
"When the story broke in late July that seven players were threatening to withdraw from the game against the Sydney Roosters, Fulton again urged the club to change the jersey," Buzz Rothfield writes in the Daily Telegraph.
"To heat-seal pink over the rainbow colours for Women in League Round.
"She said it would send a powerful message… that the club could own its mistake and, in future, work closer with players on future sensitive projects."
Reports from the Sydney Morning Herald suggest there are also allegations of bullying that could be a factor in Fulton's redundacy too.
This sacking of a high-profile staffer comes at a time when the club is going through severe turbulence.
In the wake of the pride jersey saga, both the players and the club itself came under fire.
As a result, head coach De Hassler has now been relieved of his duties with former South Sydney Rabbitohs boss Anthony Seibold set to take the reins in 2023.
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Katie Fulton/Supplied/NRL
- Paul Gallen Slams Manly Sea Eagles For Releasing Rainbow Pride Jersey
- Manly Sea Eagles player Josh Schuster insists he doesn't regret refusing to wear the club's rainbow jersey
- Manly coach considering legal action against club over controversial pride jersey saga
- Manly Sea Eagles player says his gay sister 'totally understood' his decision to not wear club's rainbow pride jersey