The furore over the Manly Pride jersey has caused confusion, but respect for everyone is the key to progress

Rugby league does not have a pride round; this week’s round celebrates the women in the competition.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing that, given the furore aimed at the Manly Sea-Eagles.

When Manly Brookvale runs up Oval to beat the Sydney Roosters in a match you need to win, the one-off striped jersey will be more recognizable than most players wearing it.

Seven regular starters will sit out for citing religious reasons for not wearing a team shirt with a rainbow of pride.

The design was supposed to represent the integration of all marginalized groups into the rugby league, not specifically the LGBTQ+ community it is associated with.

But with all the good intentions in the world, that message was lost, certainly not explained to the playing group before they found out through the media that they were supposed to carry it.

Four male soccer players
Some of the players involved – including Josh Schuster, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Aloiai and Jason Saab – are Pasifika.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts and James Gourley )

Most of the players involved are Pasifika – they have been portrayed as bigots by some who do not recognize their culturally religious views.

But Pasifika players make up 50 percent of player ranks, making rugby league unique among all other major Australian sports.

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