The Manly Sea Eagles have used the unveiling of new coach Anthony Seibold to distance themselves from the Pride jersey concept, officially confirming that any decision regarding an ‘inclusivity' initiative will be left to the NRL.
As expected, many of the questions asked at the Seibold press conference were related to the matter, after the club spent recent months seemingly uncertain about any decision for or against the matter in future.
It was just a month ago that the club officials had indicated the concept would be revisited in 2023, with Chairman Scott Penn expressing a similar sentiment as early as July.
But with ARLC Chair Peter V'Landys confirming that the commission would consider adopting an NRL-wide initiative to promote pride or inclusion for 2023, it appears the Sea Eagles will defer their own decision on the matter.
“If there's any initiative, or overarching initiatives, they'll be run by the NRL,” said club CEO Tony Mestrov.
“We've been in discussion with the NRL and any initiative will be put forward by them, not us.
“That's simple to say and we've really got nothing further to add about us organising a Pride Round or a Rainbow Round. That will be an NRL issue.
“The NRL will do the consulting, they'll speak to the RLPA and players and so on, rather than the club itself. It works much better that way, we feel.”
Mestrov also spoke on the damaging aftermath of the last Pride jersey occasion, believing that the air has been cleared after a divisive time and the playing group is prepared to move forward as one.
“It was important that they cleared the air and that we gave them the freedom to express themselves and what they felt,” Mestrov said.
“That's done, and we can now get on with the most important thing, which is winning football games. Anthony is here now, there's a clean slate and we're here to win football games.”