Ian Roberts, the first out gay rugby league player, has addressed the Manly pride jersey boycott.
Roberts, a former Manly Sea Eagles himself publicly came out in 1995 while playing for Manly.
‘Breaks My Heart’
Seven Manly Players To Boycott NRL Match Over Gay Pride Jersey
Roberts told Fox Sports that the controversy “breaks my heart.”
He went on to say, “I fully respect those players who are choosing not to play and their right not to play, with their religious beliefs. I would love, given the opportunity, to be able to sit down at a table with those guys and just have an open conversation with them.
“And to try to explain what a Pride Round means, particularly for the LGBTQIA+ community, what it means to us individually.”
Roberts said that Pride Rounds are about being welcoming, inclusive, and making people feel valid and seen.
“It isn’t a thing of exclusivity. It’s just about welcoming and saying to the LGBTQIA+ community, you’re part of the greater community and you’re welcome here.”
‘I’ve Seen the Consequences of What Homophobia and Transphobia Can Do’
Stressing why a Pride Round is so vital and th
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