Paul Gallen blames Manly's slump in form on the rainbow pride jersey saga
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Paul Gallen has gone swinging in on the Manly Sea Eagles and their recent slump in form, laying the blame firmly on last month's pride jersey saga.
The NRL club made headlines all around the world after it was revealed that several players were refusing to wear the team's rainbow LGBTQIA+ strip for one game.
It's understood the group were even threatening to boycott the match if they were forced to don the 'Everyone in League' kit, resulting in all seven of them being stood down on religious grounds.
The entire ordeal didn't paint anyone involved in a particularly good light with the players as well as the club itself coming under fire for its handling of the situation.
Now, one month on, the club's performances on the pitch have been underwhelming to say the least, so much so that their hopes of Finals footy look long gone – and rugby league legend Gallen knows just why.
The former Cronulla Sharks and New South Wales Blues captain insists the Sea Eagles officials behind the pride jersey release are solely responsible for the team's dwindling form which has seen them plummet to 11th on the NRL ladder.
"That Women in League round or pride round incident — that was the club, that wasn't Des," Gallen said on Channel Nine's 100% Footy show.
"There's no doubt, I agree: they've fallen off the perch since then. They were really pushing towards that top eight and (were) a big chance, and they've gone down hill since then.
“There’s no doubt (the pride jersey drama) affected the team. But wasn’t it someone at the club who made that decision?
“So, why should Des wear all of it?
“I thought when I saw (Hasler) at the press conference, ‘What’s he doing it for?’
“The person who made the decision should have been doing it.
“And I don’t care what they say — that affected their season no end.”
Since news first broke about the pride jersey fiasco which engulfed the club, reports have emerged of a split in the Manly dressing room.
At the time, Sea Eagles officials promised head coach Des Hasler that his job was safe.
Bu following the team's demoralising 40-6 loss at the hands of the Cronulla Sharks, there are question marks about his position.
“We were beaten and overwhelmed by a very good side,” Manly great Max Krilich told The Daily Telegraph.
“But on Des, to be very honest I think he’s probably had his time, not that it’s for me to say or decide. Others can judge that.
“I’m saying the club might need refreshing. He’s been a very astute coach but some of the tactics of late look a bit stale to me.
“I don’t like bagging Des because he’s done some terrific stuff for Manly over a long period of time.
“But everyone has their day in the office and his time might be up.”
Featured Image Credit: Ch9/Supplied/NRL
Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League, Paul Gallen