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Seven rugby players in Australia refuse to wear a rainbow shirt

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Seven rugby players in Australia will boycott for religious and personal reasons the decision of their team to wear a rainbow-colored shirt for a match for LGTBI pride, reported this Tuesday His trainer.

The Manly Sea Eagles team jersey, presented the day before, has the colors that identify the LGBTI community on the sleeve and around the advertising on the torso; and will be used this Thursday during a match against Sydney Rooster, both teams from Sydney.

“(They) will not wear the shirt because it conflicts with their cultural and religious beliefs,” said their coach, Des Hasler, at a press conference, assuring that the rest of the players will wear the announced garment.

The coach acknowledged that they did not consult with the players about the use of this shirt, which leaves the participation of these seven athletes in suspense.

“The intent of the t-shirt is to support advocacy and human rights related to gender, race, culture, ability and LGBTI movements. Unfortunately, the execution of what was intended to be an extremely important initiative was poor” , expressed the coach, when making a public apology.

A boycott on which even the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has spoken, who recalled the importance of respecting “everyone for who they are” and that “sport is more inclusive”, in statements collected by the public network ABC.

Albanese also praised his friend and former Eagles player Ian Roberts, who in 1995 became the first elite rugby league player to come out as gay.

Roberts was not the first gay player, but “he was the first to have the courage to come out of the closet and that paved the way for others to do so,” the president stressed.

“It’s all the same love,” Minister for Sport Anika Wells said on Twitter when referring to the issue.

Stocks of the Sydney team’s rainbow-colored jersey sold out in less than 24 hours on sale through the website, says public broadcaster SBS.

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