Manly Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler and captain Daly Cherry-Evans have fronted the media on Tuesday afternoon after seven players pulled out of the club's clash with the Sydney Roosters on Thursday evening over the wearing of a 'pride' jersey.

Hasler began the press conference with a full statement.

Read what he had to say below.

"We are here today to apologise for a significant mistake made by the Manly Sea Eagles football club," Halser said.

"As you are aware, the club yesterday launched a jersey for women in league round. The change to our traditional jersey was the rainbow colours to replace the white spaces and lines.

"The intent of the rainbow colour application of our jersey was to represent diversity and inclusion for all utilising the symbolic colours of pride to embrace all groups who feel marginalised, face discrimination and have a suppressed share of voice.

"The jersey intent was to support the advocacy and human rights pertaining to gender, race, culture, ability and LGBTQ movements.

"Sadly, the execution of what was intended to be an extremely important initiative was poor. There was little consultation or collaboration with key stakeholders both inside and outside the club.

"Sadly, this poor management and project management has caused significant confusion, discomfort and pain for many people. In particular, those groups whose human rights we were in fact attempting to support.

"We have even adversely affected our playing group - a wonderful group of people comprising of many different racial and cultural backgrounds.

"We wish to sincerely apologise for the mistakes we have made. We wish to apologise to the minority groups within the community who embrace the rainbow colours as a symbol or pride in who they are, what they stand for, and their empassioned advocacy to enhance basic tolerance and acceptance within the diversity and inclusion space.

"We wish to apologise to the LGBTQ community, who embrace the rainbow colours, to use these colours for pride, and advocacy and human right issues. It has played an integral role in the inclusion and diversity of all minority groups.

"We acknowledge the role that the LGBTQ community has played in breaking down the barriers for many other groups who also utilise the rainbow colours as a source of pride.

"We wish to apologise to the Australian Rugby League Commission, all of the NRL, and the other 15 NRL clubs for creating negative news, shifting the spotlight from the women in league round.

"We wish to apologise to our own playing group and staff for any confusion, discomfort and pain that the mistake we have made may have caused them. We accept your cultural beliefs and hope you can accept our apology.

"Harvard professor Robert Putnam has stated in an extensive work of establishing a civil society that to creat civility we need to embrace three core values - cooperation and trust.

"In this situation, we have been poor in exhibiting behaviours aligned to these.

"If we had of suitably co-operated with key stakeholders both internally and externally, we would have cultivated a more suitable trust that would have ideally led to our action.

"Our intent was to be caring and compassionate towards all diverse groups who face inclusion issues daily, however, instead of enhancing tolerance and acceptance, we may have hindered this. This was the opposite of our intent.

"Please let me tell you a final anecdote.

"I have a close friend and confidant who is autistic. He is a passionate advocate for the rights of the neuro-diverse and embraces the rainbow colours as a symbol of neuro-diversity pride.

"He was very angry at how the club had handled such an important opportunity to raise awareness and support advocacy for the diversity and inclusion of human rights movement. But he then reflected at how intolerant people have been towards him, and how he had been marginalised when he communicated poorly, or when he had made communication mistakes.

"Not because he was mean-spirited, but because he was neuro-diverse. He said 'how can I be intolerant towards the club when I want people to be tolerant to my mistakes and those of neuro-diverse people. I want people to accept me for my intent and big heart, not for my communication mistakes and I must support the club in this difficult situation.'

"I am reminded of Gandi's quote - 'be the change you want to see in the world.'

"I truly hope that the communities, the NRL, our players and our staff who we have caused confusion and pain can accept our apology.

"Personally, I share the views that are inclusiveness across the game and society as an important matter, and that the NRL is for everyone. But in this specific instance, I also feel for these players. They were not included in any of the discussions of the decision-making of the jersey. At a minimum, they should have been consulted.

"There are always going to be subsets of society who have cultural and religious views, and they must always be considered. Ultimately, this comes down to discussion and collaboration. None of the coaching staff, nor the players had prior knowledge to the jersey. They are not wearing the jersey as it conflicts with their cultural and religious beliefs, and I am concerned for their welfare.

"Their spirituality is an essential part of their well-being.

"The club has made an error from which it and we will learn.

"The players will not play on Thursday and we accept their decision. These young men are strong in their beliefs and convictions, and we will give them the space and support that they require.

"The playing group are solid and understanding of each other's views. As a club, we will wear the jersey on Thursday night.

"I personally played with Ian Roberts and wholeheartedly admire his contribution to the game - he was an ornament - and also to society in both raising awareness and acceptance of diversity and inclusion. He is a great man and a great citizen of our society.

"The role he has played at our club and in the NRL, and in the community, can not be understated. We must continue to seek out his guidance and opinions.

"Whilst we have come a long way as a society, there is still no doubt much work to be done, particularly in education, and that includes the NRL.

"For any person who is struggling with identity, we acknowledge the challenges and the difficulties. My heart goes out to you and your families, and if either the club or I personally can do anything to assist, we will. We are here, and we offer our complete support, and apologise to anyone who this matter has caused distress."