NRLW player Karina Brown has detailed her disappointment in the Manly Sea Eagles pride jersey saga and admitted the player's boycott had ‘triggered’ her.
Brown went viral back in 2018 after a State of Origin match where she was pictured kissing her then-girlfriend Vanessa Foliaki.
Speaking on the On Her Game podcast with host Sam Squiers she confessed she has been left ‘frustrated’ by the seven Manly players who have snubbed the jersey.
She told Squiers: “It did trigger me, if I'm honest.
"I felt enraged and frustrated and then I decided to dig a bit deeper and find out the whole story … when I dug deeper I realised it's not even a pride jersey which makes it even worse.
"This jersey is for everyone in league … whether you love someone of the same sex or whether you love Jesus Christ it says there's a place for you in rugby league.
"To get upset about a jersey with a few extra colours, on the piping … I was astounded that was a stance that some players have taken.
"It's just constantly frustrating. Because yes we are becoming more of a woke society. And the next generation they've got more of an open mind and open hearts.
"People are realising that discrimination is so hurtful in society and we're trying to do something about it.
"It's frustrating it still exists.''
Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Sipley revealed they would boycott the Sea Eagles’ crucial game against the Roosters tonight (July 28) after refusing to wear the club’s new pride jersey.
They cited their religion and cultural beliefs not allowing them to wear a top with a few rainbow lines on it as the reason behind their decision.
The uproar raised similar feelings for Brown to the reaction to the NRL posting the photo of Foliaki and herself back in 2018.
Responding to criticism at the time, the NRL said: “Welcome to 2018… can’t wait for you to join us!”
In the days following the photo going viral, Brown penned a column for the Players Voice, in which she said: “I think it was good for the world to see, to show how far we’ve come as a society. Yet also to show that we’ve still got some way to go. Not all the feedback was positive.
“For some people, it’s still a shock. I guess the more we can get it out there, that it’s OK to be who you are, it won’t be a shock anymore. It’ll just be normal. It is normal.
“I look forward to the day where my moment with Vanessa is just a regular post-match photo. And I don’t think we’re far off it.”
Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied. manlyseaeagles/Instagram.
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