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Manly players who boycotted pride jersey slammed for supporting jailed teammate

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Manly players who boycotted pride jersey slammed for supporting jailed teammate

Three Manly players who boycotted the club’s Pride jersey have been slammed after publicly paying tribute to former teammate Manase Fainu who stabbed a church leader. 

Fainu was jailed on Monday (August 15) after being convicted of stabbing a Mormon church youth leader outside a Sydney church in October 2019.

Manly players Haumole Olakau’atu, Josh Aloiai, and Josh Shuster all showed public displays of support for Fainu in the past week.


All three were part of the ‘Manly Seven’ who refused to wear a few rainbow stripes on their jersey because of religious and cultural differences.

Just six minutes into Manly’s fixture against Gold Coast, Olakau’atu crossed over the try line, celebrating with a hand gesture of ‘61’ to represent the 2161 Guildford postcode he and Fainu grew up in.

He then made another hand gesture representing handcuffs.

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Aloiai had been a strong supporter of Fainu throughout the trial, posting a picture outside the court with his former teammate.

Fainu thanked his friend on Instagram with a picture of the player at a barbecue he had with his friends ahead of jailing.

He tagged Aloiai in the post, saying: “Thank you uso, #LastSupper.”


Meanwhile, Schuster showed his support by writing the initials ‘MF’ on his wrist tape during the match on the weekend, sharing the image on Instagram with the caption: “See ya soon my toko [brother in Tongan].”

The players were called out for the hypocrisy of applying their Christian values to make sense of their boycott of the Manly pride jersey, but not applying those same values to a friend who had committed a crime.

NRL journalist Paul Kent said on NRL 360: “Is it protest or is it support?

Haumole Olakau'atu  Credit: NRL/Supplied.
Haumole Olakau'atu Credit: NRL/Supplied.

“Because only a couple of weeks ago we were here on this show, particularly me, defending the values of Olakau’atu and a few of the players at that club for their stance with the pride jersey…”

Adding: “A fortnight later they’re now coming out in support of a guy who has just been convicted of stabbing a bloke essentially.”

Meanwhile, fans online had similar feelings.


One fan tweed: “Sea Eagles opposed to wearing a jersey with a rainbow on it due to beliefs and morals, but all good for stabbing a Mormon youth church leader. Pick and choose isn’t a religion.”

And another said: “Betting and alcohol adverts, no problem. Stabbing someone a bit of a frown. Violence against women, look down and shuffle the feet. Rainbow on a jersey, no can’t possibly play it’s against all my principles.”

Fainu will return to court for a sentencing hearing in October.

Featured Image Credit: Joshaloiai/Instagram. ayhuncho/Instagram.

Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League

Jayden Collins
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