Toby Rudolf says '99 per cent of rugby league community' is supportive of all sexual orientations
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Toby Rudolf has become a powerful advocate for the LGBTQI+ community within the rugby league world.
The Cronulla star received a wave of support from many after his open comments about his own sexuality amid a controversial period for the NRL.
Seven Manly Sea-Eagles players had decided to boycott the club’s pride-supporting jersey, leading to an uproar among the rugby league community.
It was a tumultuous time for both the rugby league and the Pride community.
However, the Sharks player stood to be a voice of positivity when he revealed how his own sexuality was very fluid and that he’d been out kissing many straight women as well as gay guys and girls.
It was an incredibly open opinion on love coming from a rugby league player, in a time when such a voice was needed in that community.
Rudolf reflected on the response to his comments which reaffirmed to him that the NRL circle was a ‘loving one’ in an interview on SPORTbible Daily Podcast.
He said: “99 per cent of the rugby league community has my views and is welcoming to everyone, views, ethnicities, sexual orientations.
“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.”
Rudolf spoke about the feedback he received among fans and teammates in the wake of his comments - although, he admits he wasn’t trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ with what he was saying.
He continued: “During that time it was a bit strange, then as soon as the stories came out about how I kiss blokes when I’m drunk and happy and having a good time and not fussed about - everyone was just so supportive.
“I went to Northies that night and got stopped by so many people saying stuff like ‘I really appreciate that stuff that you said’ whether they were gay, straight or whatever.
“It was just like being cuddled by a warm cloud.”
The NRL has been in discussions about introducing a Pride Round, however, in an anonymous survey sent around to coaches and assistants it was revealed that just 33 per cent of those surveyed were supportive of the concept, according to The Daily Telegraph.