Manly Sea Eagles owner Scott Penn has doubled down on the club's decision to wear a pride jersey this week, suggesting it will happen again in 2023.
In what has been a chaotic week off the field for the NRL, the Manly pride jersey story has dominated headlines, with seven players opting to sit out the game on religious grounds.
While Des Hasler offered a heartfelt apology to both his players and the communities impacted earlier this month amid a reaction which has blown up from pillar to post, and the Sea Eagles have named an almost unrecognisable team for Thursday's game against the Sydney Roosters, Penn, speaking with News Corp has detailed the club's plans to become the most inclusive in the sport.
That plan includes wearing the jersey again next year.
“Yes," Penn said when asked whether the club planned to wear it again next year.
"Clearly, we need to do more consultation.
“But the fact is we are committed to making the Sea Eagles the most inclusive club in the NRL.
“How we do that, we’ll need to now do a broader consultation.
“We need to also learn from this and how we can do it better next time, but more importantly we want to be inclusive.
“We want to be for everyone and we need to get the narrative right around that."
It's understood the players, according to 9 News will be open to wearing the jersey next year after consultation with the club.
“Yes. that’s the message they were very clear on — let’s work together,” Penn said.
Some circles in rugby league have been pushing for a pride round in years to come, although that seems a little way off based on the reaction of numerous Manly players this weekend.
Already some at other clubs have come out against the decision of the seven players to stand down, with Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson suggesting the sport should be for everyone, while both Andrew McCullough and Jaydn Su'A over at the St George Illawarra Dragons said they would have no problems wearing the jersey.
The seven players who opted out of the game will reportedly not be in attendance for the clash against the Roosters over security concerns, but should return next weekend when Manly go back to full strength against the Parramatta Eels in a Friday night blockbuster.