Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth dragged into Manly Pride jersey scandal as controversy refuse to die
Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth have been two of the most popular celebrities hailing from Australia and have a massive fan following across the globe. However, it seems both actors are in the news for all the wrong reasons this time around. Two of Australia’s biggest celebrities have found themselves in the middle of a controversy regarding the newly announced Manly’s pride jersey.
For the uninitiated, recently it was announced that the Manly Sea Eagles, a professional Rugby League club based out of Sydney, will be donning a new jersey for their crucial game against Sydney Roosters. However, some of the players have decided to skip the game as their personal beliefs didn’t allow them to wear the club’s newest jersey featuring rainbow stripes in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Now, a report by Daily Mail Australia suggests that Jackman and Hemsworth already knew about the newest jersey and were both sent the uniform almost two weeks ago. The decision was taken in a bid to have two of the biggest names attached to the game that is set to take place on Thursday, July 28. The report also suggests that Manly had plans of introducing a Pride Jersey for a while now and one of its sponsors first “approached the club about the idea more than a year ago”.
The ‘Logan’ star has been a long-time supporter of Manly and also shared a photo of the new jersey on his official Instagram account. According to The Australian, the actor did a favor to his close friend and popular Aussie radio star Gus Worland to promote the inaugural Gotcha4Life Cup. On the other hand, Hemsworth also received the jersey in an attempt to have him as a guest at Thursday’s game.
The stars would have simply wanted to be a part of the game as guests, but the controversy has made it hard for them to publicly speak about it.
Since then, the focus has shifted to the three rainbow stripes on the jersey and players such as Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula, and Toafofoa Sipley have decided to not take part of the important game. Daily Mail reported that four of these aforementioned seven names hold orthodox religious beliefs and one of them even has homophobic slurs on his social media accounts.
The team’s coach Des Hasler revealed that the players were not consulted before the jersey was unveiled ad also noted that the management will give these players the “space and support they require”. He added, “The playing group is solid and understanding of each other’s views. As a club, we will wear the jersey on Thursday night.”
However, the coach’s statement was criticized by everyone as the club insiders told The Australian that the design was approved by the football department but they failed to tell to the players. On the other hand, when the jersey was taken to the NRL and its licensing department, they only told the jersey makers to change the placement of the Gotcha4Life logo. Apart from that, there was nothing to be changed.
Sources claimed that the club had no problems with the jersey, but its failure to consult the team led to players walking out of the game.
The Gotcha4Life Foundation was established by Worland in 2017 to raise funds for mental health.