Ian Roberts is a Manly Sea Eagles legend and became the first NRL player to come out as gay in 1995.
So naturally seeing the so called Manly Seven refuse to wear the “everyone in league” shirt released by the club which included a rainbow in the decision the symbol of the LGBTQ+ community.
Roberts has now subsequently spoken out against the comments of Josh Aloiai – one of the Manly Seven – on the matter who this week in an interview with Channel 9 doubled down on his stance on the jersey saying he will never “compromise” and don the shirt.
This prompted Roberts to respond: ‘Why isn’t he going to wear the jumper? I still don’t think I’ve heard a deep enough reason for him to say that,’ Roberts said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘He sounds very ignorant. He says, “We’re accepting of all people. But I draw the line at wearing a rainbow”.
‘He’s saying he is loving and Christian but the acceptance isn’t for everyone. It’s contradictory and it’s hypocritical.’
That said, the former Manly man has called on the NRL to act after Aloiai received death threats over the matter: ‘I suppose the thing that upset me most about it initially was that he and the other boys had death threats.
“I really do hope that the club or the NRL chases this up because it’s something that’s just totally unacceptable.
“I would say it’s not unfamiliar for anyone in the queer community, particularly my age. […] Because he is getting death threats that’s the reason we need a pride round for inclusion and acceptance.’