keep politics out of the game

Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
As we all know, Manly is widely regarded as a very political club.

Meaning…? Meaning, more often than not, there are people in the organisation working to shore up their position, manoeuvre for ascendancy, or force out a rival to their power.

1666952721539.png

So what is ‘politics’, anyway?

Politics can be thought of as government and parliaments, but of course it is much broader than that. Definitions of politics usually include ideas such as, the set of activities associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals.

Power. It’s really about power. In any given context, who has it, who wants it, and what they are all doing to either protect or acquire it.


“Keep politics out of sport!”


A popular cry in recent times, certainly among Sea Eagle fans. The dream is entirely appealing, and understandable. Most of us watch sport to take our minds off our worldly worries and the state of the nation. So, let’s keep sport - or at least our own club - unified behind a common objective.

How hard can it be? Everyone, from top to bottom in the organisation, focussed on a strategy for success, on and off the field, allowing the players to get on with winning games. No factions, no distractions. No jealousies or personal power plays. No divisive red herring issues.


After all, it is possible. Isn’t it?


No, it is not possible to eliminate all division and rivalries. But it is possible to keep a lid on them, for periods of time, as is necessary to win a premiership. For 15 years Storm have largely managed it. Roosters for over 10. But to see how difficult it is just look at the last couple of years at the Broncos, one of the most powerful of all clubs. Not to mention the intermittent dramas at the Dragons, the Tigers, and Dogs. The Warriors. Eels. The Titans, and Raiders. Knights! And, of course, at the Sea Eagles.

1666952274024.png


A plethora of conflicts can and do arise in a club: issues between administrators; or between administrators and owners; or sponsors and owners; or between owners and coaches, or coaches and players, player agents and owners. Between players and other players. Players and other player’s wives!


OK, but at least keep out all the external politics

Can’t we? That depends what we mean by external politics.

Rugby league by its nature has an elemental attraction and a broad appeal that captures the imagination of fans. For this reason it has always also attracted politicians, keen to be seen at high profile games and events. They want to be recognised and they want their political agendas associated with the popular game, and with the values the game represents.

This is the same reason corporate sponsors want to be associated with the game.


So, what are the values associated with rugby league?


Firstly, working class solidarity. Rugby league had begun in 1895 when clubs in the working class north of England broke away from the RFU. They wanted to compensate their working-class players who couldn’t afford to pay rent or feed their families if they took time off work for injuries or rugby tours. The RFU refused, saying 'if men couldn't afford to play, then they shouldn't play at all'. The breakaway league was an instant hit and attracted good crowds.

At its heart the key messaging and values have always been around manliness. In particular, around working-class ideals of manhood. From the beginning, the need for a man to be able to support his family.

League obviously is an extremely tough game to play, and it embodies the need for men to be tough. Not only tough but brave, because you know you will be hurt. Put your body on the line for your mates. For your ‘tribe’. Be disciplined, in fitness and teamwork. Be stoic, don’t show pain, keep getting up.

1666952306211.png



Has anything changed?


Of course. Things always change. In Australia change came most dramatically with the advent of poker machines in licenced leagues clubs, semi-professionalism, and significantly, the introduction of television and the broadcasting of the game.

Within a short time corporations were starting to jump on board.

The branding of the game was still as the ultimate working man’s game, but increasingly over time the values became corporate values. All about the bottom line. And the players treated increasingly like cattle.

With the big matches consistently dominating TV ratings, the advertising value to broadcasters was ballooning. When pay TV came along, control of this gold mine was at the heart of what became the Murdoch v Packer Super League war.


Simply the best


The branding of the game was becoming more sophisticated. League stars represented simply the best of manhood. Still tough and brave, as always, but with skyrocketing pay packets at the top level, there was now a distinct increase in glamour.

The corollary of this was the values the game projected for women. Men were the head of the traditional working-class family. Women nurtured and supported. And the girls dressed in skimpy sexy outfits to cheer for the heroes.

1666952332914.png


Meanwhile, to succeed in the game, men still needed to be aggressive and dominant.

The Alpha male model projected by the game was increasingly at odds with the feminist movement that had been steadily growing since the mid-20th century.


Selling lifestyles


Big tobacco sponsorship in the game starts with WD & HO Wills in 1960 and was continuous through to the Winfield Cup, which only stopped due to government intervention prohibiting tobacco advertising – because of the devastating cost to the community of the side effects of smoking.

Most players, who by necessity were fit and healthy, were not big smokers. But the game was used to promote a smoking lifestyle. To the huge financial benefit of tobacco companies.

By the 21st century the game was awash with alcohol sponsorships. Drinking had always been part of the working man’s lifestyle, and of rugby league culture. Train hard, play hard, drink hard. Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle, pour it down the muzzle.


1666952360191.png



A report in 2019 found 4 of the world’s largest foreign-owned alcohol companies dominated AFL and NRL advertising.

As with tobacco, this was not through any altruism, generosity or community spirit, but simply because advertising sells. A detailed 2018 Australian Department of Health report concluded that ‘alcohol advertising and promotion increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol, and to drink more if they are already using alcohol.’

Now gambling. It is currently impossible to attend a game or watch one on TV without seeing gambling messages. Bet with mates! And as with tobacco and alcohol, this advertising does work to promote and expand a betting culture.


What else?

It doesn’t stop with tobacco, alcohol, and gambling. Nor with promoting the ideal of the alpha male and supportive, decorative roles for females.

Sport and especially rugby league works to reinforce the dominant status quo in powerful ways we don’t even realise. Ways we may not see as political. There is a hidden history that corporate sports media is not interested in reporting.

Example – the combative nature of the sport and its values – and language – are useful to promote the armed services. How many times have we seen the game used in order to promote militarist and patriotic themes? This has become so commonplace that many fans just assume it is 'normal'.

1666952388739.png


This year, with US-China tensions in the Pacific and some of our leading politicians openly using terms like ‘war footing’, rugby league games featured solemn military remembrance ceremonies not just on ANZAC Day, which fell on 25 April, but also on 21 April.

Oh, and also on 22 April. And on 23 April and 24 April.


The game gets tough on misogyny


A few years ago the NRL announced new measures including automatic no-fault ‘stand-downs’ in the wake of a deluge of terrible publicity over players disrespecting or assaulting women, including several very serious sexual assault allegations. Players disrespecting females had become commonplace. In previous years Souths and Bulldog clubs had recognised a significant cultural problem and made some moves to modify this, with limited effect.

Attitudes to women have always been somewhat problematic in the game, given traditional values and the game's working-class roots. Add in the all-male team environments, the deliberate focus on encouraging aggressive ‘Alpha male’ behaviours, and the convention of bonding sessions involving binge drinking of alcohol. And top it off with the glamour status and high incomes of the modern professional player. It had become a recipe for PR disaster. The Matthew Johns scandal and the revelation at deBelin’s trial about ‘standard buns’ gave mere glimpses into an entrenched culture which was highly problematic.

The game responded with tough-talking speeches, the new measures for players accused of wrongdoing, and also by boosting investment in the womens game.


Player power - now players are getting political!

In 2019 some players from both teams refused to sing the National Anthem at an Origin game.

1666952437205.png


Traditionally players would play, and it was only club officials or the game’s administrators that would ever comment publicly on broader issues in the community.

There was a vicious backlash from some fans. Nevertheless, within 18 months, the Governor-General had announced changes to the wording of the Australian National Anthem. The action of those high profile NRL players had played a part in something that impacted the entire nation.

Aside from issues around the continuing disadvantage of Indigenous people, NRL players have publicly raised other issues such as racism in the game, as well as other player welfare issues such as mental health and the possibility of permanent disability through repetitive sub-concussive brain injuries.

These have been player-driven issues, and the NRL has attempted to respond in various ways.


1666952466246.png



Changing demographics in NRL

Over the past 15 years the proportion of NRL players of Pacific Island heritage has multiplied dramatically. This is not reflected in their representation at other levels of the game, such as within the ARLC or NRL, in club ownership or administration, or in senior coaching roles. These leadership and power positions in the game are filled almost exclusively by whites of European background.

At the current rate of change, we are not too far away from a situation akin to the NFL in America, where 70% of players are African American, but there are zero black owners and 90% of coaches are white.

The tensions generated by this power imbalance, with its associated clash of cultures, all in the context of increasing ‘player power’, came together in spectacular fashion at the Sea Eagles in Jerseygate.


Where to now?


Religious dogma is famous for changing with the times. When Charles Darwin published ‘On the Origin of the Species’ in 1859 the English scientific establishment was closely tied to the Church of England, and science was part of natural theology. The political and theological implications were intensely debated, but Darwin’s transmutation theory was not accepted by the scientific mainstream.

Nowadays it is, and theologians have adapted and reinterpreted their ‘source materials’ to accommodate the new knowledge.

1666952494423.png


So there must be a realistic prospect that the rebel players may change their view, or at least that the different cultures will move closer together. Eventually.

Meanwhile, the current players not only have their beliefs and their values, but a new-found realisation of the power of their collective voice. Before Jerseygate, the idea that half a team would pull out of an important NRL game on a matter of personal principle and religion was, frankly, unthinkable. Now, we will actually expect it, if the circumstances are repeated.

“Help! Please keep politics out of sport!”

Was the Everyone in League jersey a player-driven initiative, or owner-driven? Either way, inclusiveness in the game remains problematic. If that was ever in doubt before Jerseygate, it is certainly obvious now.

One really doesn’t have to look too closely into the game of rugby league and its history and the competing interests of the people who run it and play it, to realise politics is intrinsically and necessarily involved.

But this is by no means a negative.

The issue is not whether we should or even can keep politics out of sport, but rather, whether we can clearly identify at any point in time what the competing political interests are.

And whether we are strong and brave enough to acknowledge which side of a conflict we support. And then to do so, knowing it will hurt.



______________________________________________________

Acknowledgements

'guzzle guzzle guzzle pour it down the muzzle' is a cute line I stole from the Sea Eagles victory song, without permission, sorry everyone.
Also the term 'standard bun' is not original, it was a term used by Angus Crichton at one of those rape trials
The pictures are not mine either, I stole them from google or someone.
The definition of politics, I forget where i stole that from, may have been Wiki, same with the bit about Charles Darwin. Gawd, next time I should send them a couple of dollars, they're always asking.
And, as I already mentioned above, I did recently watch Dave Zirin's excellent doco on the NFL and that's where I got the stats about NFL players and owners. It got me wondering about some parallels (and differences) with NRL. (I also mentioned this doco previously in the Netflix thread, well worth a look if anyone's interested).
 
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In for the long haul.
Premium Member
2016 Tipping Competitor
As we all know, Manly is widely regarded as a very political club.

Meaning…? Meaning, more often than not, there are people in the organisation working to shore up their position, manoeuvre for ascendancy, or force out a rival to their power.

View attachment 22695
So what is ‘politics’, anyway?

Politics can be thought of as government and parliaments, but of course it is much broader than that. Definitions of politics usually include ideas such as, the set of activities associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals.

Power. It’s really about power. In any given context, who has it, who wants it, and what they are all doing to either protect or acquire it.


“Keep politics out of sport!”


A popular cry in recent times, certainly among Sea Eagle fans. The dream is entirely appealing, and understandable. Most of us watch sport to take our minds off our worldly worries and the state of the nation. So, let’s keep sport - or at least our own club - unified behind a common objective.

How hard can it be? Everyone, from top to bottom in the organisation, focussed on a strategy for success, on and off the field, allowing the players to get on with winning games. No factions, no distractions. No jealousies or personal power plays. No divisive red herring issues.


After all, it is possible. Isn’t it?


No, it is not possible to eliminate all division and rivalries. But it is possible to keep a lid on them, for periods of time, as is necessary to win a premiership. For 15 years Storm have largely managed it. Roosters for over 10. But to see how difficult it is just look at the last couple of years at the Broncos, one of the most powerful of all clubs. Not to mention the intermittent dramas at the Dragons, the Tigers, and Dogs. The Warriors. Eels. The Titans, and Raiders. Knights! And, of course, at the Sea Eagles.

View attachment 22686

A plethora of conflicts can and do arise in a club: issues between administrators; or between administrators and owners; or sponsors and owners; or between owners and coaches, or coaches and players, player agents and owners. Between players and other players. Players and other player’s wives!


OK, but at least keep out all the external politics

Can’t we? That depends what we mean by external politics.

Rugby league by its nature has an elemental attraction and a broad appeal that captures the imagination of fans. For this reason it has always also attracted politicians, keen to be seen at high profile games and events. They want to be recognised and they want their political agendas associated with the popular game, and with the values the game represents.

This is the same reason corporate sponsors want to be associated with the game.


So, what are the values associated with rugby league?


Firstly, working class solidarity. Rugby league had begun in 1895 when clubs in the working class north of England broke away from the RFU. They wanted to compensate their working-class players who couldn’t afford to pay rent or feed their families if they took time off work for injuries or rugby tours. The RFU refused, saying 'if men couldn't afford to play, then they shouldn't play at all'. The breakaway league was an instant hit and attracted good crowds.

At its heart the key messaging and values have always been around manliness. In particular, around working-class ideals of manhood. From the beginning, the need for a man to be able to support his family.

League obviously is an extremely tough game to play, and it embodies the need for men to be tough. Not only tough but brave, because you know you will be hurt. Put your body on the line for your mates. For your ‘tribe’. Be disciplined, in fitness and teamwork. Be stoic, don’t show pain, keep getting up.

View attachment 22687


Has anything changed?


Of course. Things always change. In Australia change came most dramatically with the advent of poker machines in licenced leagues clubs, semi-professionalism, and significantly, the introduction of television and the broadcasting of the game.

Within a short time corporations were starting to jump on board.

The branding of the game was still as the ultimate working man’s game, but increasingly over time the values became corporate values. All about the bottom line. And the players treated increasingly like cattle.

With the big matches consistently dominating TV ratings, the advertising value to broadcasters was ballooning. When pay TV came along, control of this gold mine was at the heart of what became the Murdoch v Packer Super League war.


Simply the best


The branding of the game was becoming more sophisticated. League stars represented simply the best of manhood. Still tough and brave, as always, but with skyrocketing pay packets at the top level, there was now a distinct increase in glamour.

The corollary of this was the values the game projected for women. Men were the head of the traditional working-class family. Women nurtured and supported. And the girls dressed in skimpy sexy outfits to cheer for the heroes.

View attachment 22688

Meanwhile, to succeed in the game, men still needed to be aggressive and dominant.

The Alpha male model projected by the game was increasingly at odds with the feminist movement that had been steadily growing since the mid-20th century.


Selling lifestyles


Big tobacco sponsorship in the game starts with WD & HO Wills in 1960 and was continuous through to the Winfield Cup, which only stopped due to government intervention prohibiting tobacco advertising – because of the devastating cost to the community of the side effects of smoking.

Most players, who by necessity were fit and healthy, were not big smokers. But the game was used to promote a smoking lifestyle. To the huge financial benefit of tobacco companies.

By the 21st century the game was awash with alcohol sponsorships. Drinking had always been part of the working man’s lifestyle, and of rugby league culture. Train hard, play hard, drink hard. Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle, pour it down the muzzle.


View attachment 22689


A report in 2019 found 4 of the world’s largest foreign-owned alcohol companies dominated AFL and NRL advertising.

As with tobacco, this was not through any altruism, generosity or community spirit, but simply because advertising sells. A detailed 2018 Australian Department of Health report concluded that ‘alcohol advertising and promotion increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol, and to drink more if they are already using alcohol.’

Now gambling. It is currently impossible to attend a game or watch one on TV without seeing gambling messages. Bet with mates! And as with tobacco and alcohol, this advertising does work to promote and expand a betting culture.


What else?

It doesn’t stop with tobacco, alcohol, and gambling. Nor with promoting the ideal of the alpha male and supportive, decorative roles for females.

Sport and especially rugby league works to reinforce the dominant status quo in powerful ways we don’t even realise. Ways we may not see as political. There is a hidden history that corporate sports media is not interested in reporting.

Example – the combative nature of the sport and its values – and language – are useful to promote the armed services. How many times have we seen the game used in order to promote militarist and patriotic themes? This has become so commonplace that many fans just assume it is 'normal'.

View attachment 22690

This year, with US-China tensions in the Pacific and some of our leading politicians openly using terms like ‘war footing’, rugby league games featured solemn military remembrance ceremonies not just on ANZAC Day, which fell on 25 April, but also on 21 April.

Oh, and also on 22 April. And on 23 April and 24 April.


The game gets tough on misogyny


A few years ago the NRL announced new measures including automatic no-fault ‘stand-downs’ in the wake of a deluge of terrible publicity over players disrespecting or assaulting women, including several very serious sexual assault allegations. Players disrespecting females had become commonplace. In previous years Souths and Bulldog clubs had recognised a significant cultural problem and made some moves to modify this, with limited effect.

Attitudes to women have always been somewhat problematic in the game, given traditional values and the game's working-class roots. Add in the all-male team environments, the deliberate focus on encouraging aggressive ‘Alpha male’ behaviours, and the convention of bonding sessions involving binge drinking of alcohol. And top it off with the glamour status and high incomes of the modern professional player. It had become a recipe for PR disaster. The Matthew Johns scandal and the revelation at deBelin’s trial about ‘standard buns’ gave mere glimpses into an entrenched culture which was highly problematic.

The game responded with tough-talking speeches, the new measures for players accused of wrongdoing, and also by boosting investment in the womens game.


Player power - now players are getting political!

In 2019 some players from both teams refused to sing the National Anthem at an Origin game.

View attachment 22691

Traditionally players would play, and it was only club officials or the game’s administrators that would ever comment publicly on broader issues in the community.

There was a vicious backlash from some fans. Nevertheless, within 18 months, the Governor-General had announced changes to the wording of the Australian National Anthem. The action of those high profile NRL players had played a part in something that impacted the entire nation.

Aside from issues around the continuing disadvantage of Indigenous people, NRL players have publicly raised other issues such as racism in the game, as well as other player welfare issues such as mental health and the possibility of permanent disability through repetitive sub-concussive brain injuries.

These have been player-driven issues, and the NRL has attempted to respond in various ways.


View attachment 22693


Changing demographics in NRL

Over the past 15 years the proportion of NRL players of Pacific Island heritage has multiplied dramatically. This is not reflected in their representation at other levels of the game, such as within the ARLC or NRL, in club ownership or administration, or in senior coaching roles. These leadership and power positions in the game are filled almost exclusively by whites of European background.

At the current rate of change, we are not too far away from a situation akin to the NFL in America, where 70% of players are African American, but there are zero black owners and 90% of coaches are white.

The tensions generated by this power imbalance, with its associated clash of cultures, all in the context of increasing ‘player power’, came together in spectacular fashion at the Sea Eagles in Jerseygate.


Where to now?


Religious dogma is famous for changing with the times. When Charles Darwin published ‘On the Origin of the Species’ in 1859 the English scientific establishment was closely tied to the Church of England, and science was part of natural theology. The political and theological implications were intensely debated, but Darwin’s transmutation theory was not accepted by the scientific mainstream.

Nowadays it is, and theologians have adapted and reinterpreted their ‘source materials’ to accommodate the new knowledge.

View attachment 22694

So there must be a realistic prospect that the rebel players may change their view, or at least that the different cultures will move closer together. Eventually.

Meanwhile, the current players not only have their beliefs and their values, but a new-found realisation of the power of their collective voice. Before Jerseygate, the idea that half a team would pull out of an important NRL game on a matter of personal principle and religion was, frankly, unthinkable. Now, we will actually expect it, if the circumstances are repeated.

“Help! Please keep politics out of sport!”

Was the Everyone in League jersey a player-driven initiative, or owner-driven? Either way, inclusiveness in the game remains problematic. If that was ever in doubt before Jerseygate, it is certainly obvious now.

One really doesn’t have to look too closely into the game of rugby league and its history and the competing interests of the people who run it and play it, to realise politics is intrinsically and necessarily involved.

But this is by no means a negative.

The issue is not whether we should or even can keep politics out of sport, but rather, whether we can clearly identify at any point in time what the competing political interests are.

And whether we are strong and brave enough to acknowledge which side of a conflict we support. And then to do so, knowing it will hurt.
Great stuff SER8!
 
Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Thanks this is merely a sketchy historical background i thought might be useful.
Because of the contining to and fro between some in our Silvertails community over the jerseygate issue and where it might lead.
Given that it might not sink into the sunset as swiftly as some are hoping.
I fully expect Woodsie and Chuckee will come up with more intelligent responses than Red Pill could manage. I had such high hopes for him, but alas. Oh well.
 

Ned

2022 Tipster
Thanks this is merely a sketchy historical background i thought might be useful.
Because of the contining to and fro between some in our Silvertails community over the jerseygate issue and where it might lead.
Given that it might not sink into the sunset as swiftly as some are hoping.
I fully expect Woodsie and Chuckee will come up with more intelligent responses than Red Pill could manage. I had such high hopes for him, but alas. Oh well.
Just trying to understand your post, I assume you saying it was a good idea for Manly to do the inclusion jersey because of some previous successful political campaigns? Is there a list of unsuccessful ones? If there is in the future I reckon jerseygate will be on it.
 
Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
Just trying to understand your post, I assume you saying it was a good idea for Manly to do the inclusion jersey because of some previous successful political campaigns? Is there a list of unsuccessful ones? If there is in the future I reckon jerseygate will be on it.
No Ned I didn't say it was a good idea.
The point of the article really was that there is a lot going on, as there usually has been, and to put a bit of historical context to jerseygate.
I specifically say I don't know if the jersey was player driven or owner driven, but in the end it's clear there is a problem with inclusiveness in the game, and just as importantly a problem with giving a voice to the new Pacifika player demographic.
It's not a simple scenario, and my main point is don't put our heads in the sand and hope it goes away, there are important things happening in the lives of the people in the game we follow and these deserve to be fully considered and thought out.
 

Ned

2022 Tipster
but in the end it's clear there is a problem with inclusiveness in the game, and just as importantly a problem with giving a voice to the new Pacifika player demographic.
Yes, this is an interesting problem, being that as far as I know there are zero gay players in the game and allot of christian players in it, pacifiaka or otherwise. Seems the outrage is less from the players in this instance and more with sideline activists.

Here's something I have been wondering, if inclusiveness was so important to Manly why didn't they get Ian Roberts, one of the only NRL players to be gay ( there may be others but so low profile I never heard) and a manly legend to be the face of this initiative? Would've been great to get on Sunrise or the other one with the jersey and really show they are engaged and show it really means something to the club. Seems more like an ill thought out lame ditch effort to get some woke points to me. Roberts was interviewed after and said how he was hurt the 7 didn't wear it but if they had've involved him prior, explain his story, I think, maybe, it could've been resolved and we'd be free of this topic now.
 
Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
as far as I know there are zero gay players in the game an
Yes I think this is significant. As far as we know there have been no gay players ever in rugby league aside from Roberts.
I suggest it is more likely that Roberts is the only one who has been brave enough to come out.
And I agree if he'd been invited to speak to players this might have turned out differently.
As Des said, big mistakes made by the club.
 

Ned

2022 Tipster
Yes I think this is significant. As far as we know there have been no gay players ever in rugby league aside from Roberts.
I suggest it is more likely that Roberts is the only one who has been brave enough to come out.
And I agree if he'd been invited to speak to players this might have turned out differently.
As Des said, big mistakes made by the club.
Exactly, if the club really was interested in inclusion that's the first call they'd make, and since he was happy to comment after the disaster I assume he'd be happy to be involved before if they brought him in (assumption of course based on his comments after). Get him in there to explain his struggles and why that means so much to him and get the team united, maybe not all would agree but I think it would've blunted the edge and seem like a real effort to show why it matters. Instead they (as far as I know) don't even call the guy and throw the jerseys at the players and say "you support this now" which boxes them into a corner with their religious beliefs. Could've been handled so much better IMO
 

Adz

Reserve Grader
The article references the NFL,as someone who watches and has an interest in that sport...
The owners of the franchises are white individuals for the most part.
The players are largely African American and there is sweet **** all about religion and anything that has to do with inclusiveness.
As to the issue ongoing in the NRL,yep,sure.....
Go Sea Eagles.
 
2022 Tipster
Interesting article @SeaEagleRock8 You have obviously put a lot of time and thought into it.

I'm just going to take up one of your key points, and then come back to it later.

We know that the Everyone in League Jersey was neither player driven or owner driven. It was driven by Dynasty Sport, who made the initial pitch to the football department, before it was kicked up to the board for sign-off.

As much as I loathe Scott Penn, we can't pass responsibility onto him, and claim it as being owner driven. It appears there was a reasonable amount of discussion within the football department about Dynastys initiave. However, the design was not part of the discussion. The design all falls on Dynasty.

It appears there was almost zero player consultation by the football department with the player group as a whole. My intuition on this is that lack of consultation was intentional. It was understood that the design could be misinterpreted, and the decision was made by certain individuals within the football department to present the jersey design as a fait accompli, rather than engage with the players in any meaningful form of consultation.

We know the rest

I will come back to some other points later.
 
Enthusiastic Amateur
To add to my initial comments ( saying less is more approach:)) if you have gone to the trouble to actually write this yourself. ( I know you will read this SER8) I take back my initial comment. Your efforts should be respected. If you have just plagiarised other peoples work and conflated it then my initial comments stand.

I really think we are all overthinking this. The motives behind the jersey was based upon shallow virtue signalling because it can potentially correlate with corporate gain. I believe large parts of the LGBT communities are aware of this and more than smart enough to see through it.. if people truely want to help build the esteem and give gay kids the respect they are entitled too we all need to live and breathe it everyday in our every day life’s. Not use rugby league players as pawns to project our idealism upon. As a young kid running onto brookvale oval and other fields I learned very quickly rugby league players are not necessarily role models they are people with faults like anyone else…you get some great people and some not so nice people. I could name a couple of great Manly players that appeared to be complete a holes….but I am glad they still played for Manly.
 
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First Grader
That Rainbow jersey crap divided many fans, in fact more than the players.
Personally what ppl choose to do with their life is noone else's business.
I also mean it also does not have to be hidden, but also to promote these personal things is ridiculous imo....put it down to all this opinionated social media rubbish, where everyone jumps on some left field bandwagon just to fit in.
Manly players were victims in a big part from dumb, unorganised promotions within the club and topped off by media pitchforks, making everyone have an opinion on everything except a damn jersey.
All I want to see is a good Manly footy team each week compete for the NRL GF.
The players favourite undies, sexual preferences or if they like dogs better than cats should be left out of papers and headlines....it's the footy the fans want to see and hear about, unless you have a Mrs Mengal neighbour across the Road like me, who has no life and sits on a porch checking out everyone elses backyard.....get a life and "Show me the Footy"
 
Sea Eagle Lach
Premium Member
We know that the Everyone in League Jersey was neither player driven or owner driven. It was driven by Dynasty Sport, who made the initial pitch to the football department, before it was kicked up to the board for sign-o
Yep, fair comment.
The article was not really intended to be further commentary about the jersey affair, which has been done to death and everyone has had their say several times over. (And no doubt will continue to). I don't think I mentioned gay at all, at least i wasn't intending to.

More just in response to a number of people (not just here) saying keep politics out of sport. It prompted me to think about the political messages that are already there, but not always visible or recognised as political. Also I saw a doco recently about the NFL and that got me thinking about some differences and some similarities here.

Personally I've always hated jerseys being used as billboards, but the game is definitely political whether they are or not. Anyway that is what I was trying to point out.
 
“ Triggered Boomer”
Premium Member
A seriously interesting and well written diatribe @SeaEagleRock8

To be honest I can’t remember such a divisive situation here on Silvertails in my 15 or so years as a member.

I thought as a society we’d moved largely past this , especially if you are younger.

I sort of get us older members still living in the old ways where marriage has to be between a man and a woman ONLY. But we voted on this and now it’s only based on wether two people love each other , and that’s honestly the way it should be.

I know two couples well, one , two beautiful girls who are married and have a child and apart from the little girl having two “ mummies “ their lives , and the little girls, are completely normal.

The other two older guys , who kept their relationship secret for years so their families wouldn’t feel disgraced but are now married and living happily ever after.

I’m of the view that if it doesn’t affect your life in any way then you are far better just to live your life the way you wish and let everyone else live their lives how they wish.

HOWEVER

One thing I agree with is that sport shouldn’t be political , we’ve seen the Socceroos this week come out with a video that’s anti Qatar ( but they’ll still play in the World Cup no doubt ).

And then the Netballers who burned a 15 million dollar sponsorship over a comment made 38 years ago.

Politics and sport don’t mix.

Politics and Rugby League certainly don’t mix.
 
Feast yer eyes ..
Yes, this is an interesting problem, being that as far as I know there are zero gay players in the game and allot of christian players in it, pacifiaka or otherwise. Seems the outrage is less from the players in this instance and more with sideline activists.

Here's something I have been wondering, if inclusiveness was so important to Manly why didn't they get Ian Roberts, one of the only NRL players to be gay ( there may be others but so low profile I never heard) and a manly legend to be the face of this initiative? Would've been great to get on Sunrise or the other one with the jersey and really show they are engaged and show it really means something to the club. Seems more like an ill thought out lame ditch effort to get some woke points to me. Roberts was interviewed after and said how he was hurt the 7 didn't wear it but if they had've involved him prior, explain his story, I think, maybe, it could've been resolved and we'd be free of this topic now.

Yes, but then again ... the Rainbow steals the show ... and "Inclusivity" is again just a by-word to smother the true facts ...

The issue here was not political ... it was about rights ... does one group have the moral, legal or ethical right to force another group to make a statement against their religious beliefs .. The answer is ... NO .. we live in a democracy that cherishes our freedoms ..

And again, the real victims in this are ... the Women in League, the Indiginous, the handicapped, the Suicide awareness people and all the other components of our wonderful humanity who are entitled to, and should expect inclusion and recognition ... but were dropped like spuds, ignored in the outrage, side-lined and dismissed, again.

So Rainbow warriors ... get over yourselves ... it's not all about you ... the suicide awareness people are also worthy of inclusion, as are all the others ... come up with something that is truly inclusive ... that doesn't trample the rights of others ... and you will have succeeded .
 
In for the long haul.
Premium Member
2016 Tipping Competitor
Poor SER8 publishes a really incisive, well thought out piece and you lot have to make it all about the gays yet again.
Get over your obsession and actually read what he had to say.
It should have been the beginning of a far deeper dialogue.
I think I’ll have a rest from here for a while. Many of you just want to keep licking the same floor over and over.
Good luck to you SER8. I hope you can find some genuine intellectual exchange somewhere on her.
 
Feast yer eyes ..

@SeaEagleRock8 ... here is how most Australians answered your question.

'We've had enough': Over half of Australians believe sport is now 'too politically correct'​

Sky News Australia - Yesterday 7:32 pm

Over half of Australians believe elite sporting codes are now “too politically correct” according to a new poll from the IPA, says Sky News host Peter Gleeson.

“Earth to sports stars, we've had enough,” Mr Gleeson said.

“Sport is a critical part of our social fabric. For generations, it’s brought the nation together.

“But now it's been hijacked by activists and privileged elites as a weapon of political division and woke virtue signalling.”

“Sport is a defining component of the Australian way of life, where we all can play and cheer together, and the message from mainstream Australians is clear: play the ball and not the man,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

A poll undertaken in October, by marketing research firm Dynata, asked 1,000 Australians to specifically agree or disagree with the statement: “Sporting codes like the AFL, NRL, cricket, and netball have become too politically correct”

  • 61% Agreed.
  • 39% Disagreed.
This result represents a dramatic increase in the proportion of Australians who believe sport has become too politically correct, from 51% on a similar question asked in 2019.

Australians were also asked to specifically agree or disagree with the statement: “It is wrong that professional athletes are using their positions to campaign for their own personal political causes.”

  • 62% Agreed.
  • 38% Disagreed.
Importantly, a majority of Australians across every age group and every state and territory agreed with these statements.

“Sport is a critical part of our social fabric, which for generations has brought our nation together, yet is now being used by a privileged elite as a weapon of political division and woke virtue signaling,” Mr Wild said.

Finally, Australians were asked to specifically agree or disagree with the statement: “Energy companies such as Woodside, sponsor of the Fremantle AFL team, and Alinta Energy, sponsor of the Australian Cricket Team, should be banned from sponsoring sporting teams.”

  • 69% Disagreed
  • 31% Agreed
“The results on the scoreboard could not be clearer, Australians want politics out of their sport plain and simple,” Mr Wild said.

“The recent actions of a number of professional sport stars are fundamentally at odds with the views and values of mainstream Australians.”

“Throughout our history sport has been one of Australia’s greatest unifying forces, inspiring millions to pursue excellence in all walks of life. We cannot afford our pastimes to become the plaything of activists,” Mr Wild said.
 
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Team P W L PD Pts
24 20 4 306 42
24 18 6 209 38
24 17 7 272 36
24 16 8 119 34
24 15 9 247 32
24 15 9 201 32
24 14 10 130 30
24 14 10 63 30
24 13 11 -36 28
24 12 12 -100 26
24 9 15 -105 20
24 7 17 -192 16
24 6 18 -205 14
24 6 18 -290 14
24 6 18 -292 14
24 4 20 -327 10
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