Time for the Penns to go

Journey Man
The family took over a club in 2014 which was the reigning premier, no doubt with the best of intentions. But since then the club has failed to reach a grand final. It's not just the poor on-field results that are cause for alarm. Off-field we are a club divided. I quote from Scott Penn's defence of the 'rainbow' jersey:
“It was totally an inclusivity and diversity jersey,” Penn told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It was never just about pride. It was about saying we want everyone in the game and making them feel they can get involved."

Now I ask you: what is it about the traditional maroon and white jersey that suggests we don't want everyone in the game, and which doesn't make people feel they can get involved?
As a Manly fan for more than 60 years I am now questioning why I have invested so much of my time, energy and love into the traditional jersey, and why I first joined this football forum. It was to engage with fellow Manly supporters on RL issues. Now it is a forum as divided as our players seem to be.
Please sell up Penn and co. We appreciate you investing your hard earned into the club, but if you truly love the club, its players and its supporters then you should realise you are harming it rather than helping it.
 
First Grader
The family took over a club in 2014 which was the reigning premier, no doubt with the best of intentions. But since then the club has failed to reach a grand final. It's not just the poor on-field results that are cause for alarm. Off-field we are a club divided. I quote from Scott Penn's defence of the 'rainbow' jersey:
“It was totally an inclusivity and diversity jersey,” Penn told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It was never just about pride. It was about saying we want everyone in the game and making them feel they can get involved."

Now I ask you: what is it about the traditional maroon and white jersey that suggests we don't want everyone in the game, and which doesn't make people feel they can get involved?
As a Manly fan for more than 60 years I am now questioning why I have invested so much of my time, energy and love into the traditional jersey, and why I first joined this football forum. It was to engage with fellow Manly supporters on RL issues. Now it is a forum as divided as our players seem to be.
Please sell up Penn and co. We appreciate you investing your hard earned into the club, but if you truly love the club, its players and its supporters then you should realise you are harming it rather than helping it.
I've addressed this point three times this morning with different posters. I trust I have presented my argument logically and clearly. Nobody holding a contrary opinion has yet addressed my points, and still, posters continue to post the same point. Is there no desire to have a dialogue and learn/grow?

It is clear from my point of view that the LGBTIQ community does not feel safe and included in the rugby league community. That is easily backed up by simply acknowledging only 1 rugby league player in our history has ever felt able to come out. We know that is grossly disproportionate to the percentage of LGBTIQ in our society. Secondly, the fact that we have this $hitstorm over this particular issue, compared to all the other causes and groups that we show support for further suggests that many of us have trouble genuinely embracing this part of our community.

In regards to the traditional uniform... there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. We love it. That's not the point. We don't have themed jerseys because we don't like our traditional jersey. We have themed jersey to show support for different groups and causes. In this case, the jersey was to show inclusive support for a group that is invisible in our league community. It's a symbolic gesture to express to members of the LGBTIQ that we want them to feel safe and included. We want them to have a voice, even if just for that one game for now.

I've also been a long time fan, Who, and like many of us here, have invested a lot in following this club. This issue is not just over a jersey. This issue goes to the heart of our values, not just as footy fans and as a club, but also as human beings. We don't want anybody sitting out there on the hill or lacing up the boots to feel they have to hide who they are (or worst, feel shame for who they are). For those struggling with these issues it is an important and empowering gesture to see their team run out with a clear message... we see you, we hear you, you are safe and welcome.

I wont comment on the Penn stuff as I feel that is a separate issue. Cheers and thanks for listening.
 
Enthusiastic Amateur
So the witch hunt for a scape goat begins. Hmm the Penns are an easy target I guess and they maybe the ones to blame. Who really knows. Maybe not a good time to look for scape goats. The club needs to own this across the board. Some very valuable lessons learned.
I think the club is lucky to have Des representing them today.
 
Bencher
Our marketing department is copping a hammering.... but the way I see it the Pointsbet logo has been taken Global to the top of many media agencies. Even our sleeve sponsors are getting massive exposure. Sucks for the actual football team and the game on Thursday night etc and also DCE/DES the poor saps having to front the media and apologize for things they had no control over.

And its not as if gambling agencies rely on having squeaky clean airbrushed public images.... not like they can be further tarnished. They should pay us double for all this Sh*tstorm of publicity.
 
Journey Man
I've also been a long time fan, Who, and like many of us here, have invested a lot in following this club. This issue is not just over a jersey. This issue goes to the heart of our values, not just as footy fans and as a club, but also as human beings. We don't want anybody sitting out there on the hill or lacing up the boots to feel they have to hide who they are (or worst, feel shame for who they are). For those struggling with these issues it is an important and empowering gesture to see their team run out with a clear message... we see you, we hear you, you are safe and welcome.
I read your post carefully and I appreciate your viewpoint. I agree that this issue is not just over a jersey. I didn't even consider it a problem until I was made away that the 'message' conveyed in the jersey upset a number of our players and, no doubt, numerous family members and many fellow Manly fans.
So why cause this problem? Surely there are other ways to support the 'cause' rather than expecting some players to wear it against their beliefs? Leave the players out of this. Sell rainbow scarfs, beanies and merchandise to people who attend our matches or view the club website. Give people a choice.
The club -- and the Penns must shoulder ultimate responsibility -- should not have forced this upon the players. They have caused this divide and I'm feeling very deflated.
 
First Grader
I read your post carefully and I appreciate your viewpoint. I agree that this issue is not just over a jersey. I didn't even consider it a problem until I was made away that the 'message' conveyed in the jersey upset a number of our players and, no doubt, numerous family members and many fellow Manly fans.
So why cause this problem? Surely there are other ways to support the 'cause' rather than expecting some players to wear it against their beliefs? Leave the players out of this. Sell rainbow scarfs, beanies and merchandise to people who attend our matches or view the club website. Give people a choice.
The club -- and the Penns must shoulder ultimate responsibility -- should not have forced this upon the players. They have caused this divide and I'm feeling very deflated.
Thanks for reading through and the thoughtful reply, Who. I think many are struggling and frustrated with the situation.

I agree that the club handled the execution very poorly (I think everyone is universal in that opinion). I also understand the difficulty of some of those young men who had this sprung upon them and face difficult family/cultural pressures around it. We also have an LGBTIQ community that is largely invisible within our league community. The beliefs of these young men (and others) are part of the challenge, and does not allow the LGBTIQ community to come out and feel welcome. This is the challenge we face moving forward.

Personally, I'm riding my frustrations and anxieties around what's happening. But, I also have a part that is optimistic and excited. I know change is tumultuous, but it's what we are designed for as humans.
 
Member
It is clear from my point of view that the LGBTIQ community does not feel safe and included in the rugby league community. That is easily backed up by simply acknowledging only 1 rugby league player in our history has ever felt able to come out.
Sorry, but that simply isn't true. Another MALE was quoted in some stories today, a person by the name of Casey Conway. He isn't the well known name that Ian Roberts is, but he has still come out.

However, what I take offense to in your comment is when you refer to the league community. Aren't the female players also part of that community? The Qld and Australian captain is known to be in a same sex relationship. In fact, the NRLW are VERY inclusive. And also have a lot of players, just like the NRL, who are of Polynesian backgrounds. They don't seem to have issues with this. It's grandstanding in the name of religion.
 
Journey Man
Our marketing department is copping a hammering.... but the way I see it the Pointsbet logo has been taken Global to the top of many media agencies. Even our sleeve sponsors are getting massive exposure. Sucks for the actual football team and the game on Thursday night etc and also DCE/DES the poor saps having to front the media and apologize for things they had no control over.

And its not as if gambling agencies rely on having squeaky clean airbrushed public images.... not like they can be further tarnished. They should pay us double for all this Sh*tstorm of publicity.
Is the sponsorship money really that significant? It defaces the look of a club's jersey and when it's a gambling sponsor like we have it divides support. I'm sure every club supporter would prefer to see their teams run out sans extraneous logos.
 
First Grader
Sorry, but that simply isn't true. Another MALE was quoted in some stories today, a person by the name of Casey Conway. He isn't the well known name that Ian Roberts is, but he has still come out.

However, what I take offense to in your comment is when you refer to the league community. Aren't the female players also part of that community? The Qld and Australian captain is known to be in a same sex relationship. In fact, the NRLW are VERY inclusive. And also have a lot of players, just like the NRL, who are of Polynesian backgrounds. They don't seem to have issues with this. It's grandstanding in the name of religion.
OK, we have two males in the history of RL. :clap:

Yes, but the more open acceptance within the NRLW doesn't make everything OK. The LGBTIQ is still grossly unrepresented and invisible in the larger league community. Perhaps the women can continue to lead the way for the rest of us?
 
Bencher
Sorry, but that simply isn't true. Another MALE was quoted in some stories today, a person by the name of Casey Conway. He isn't the well known name that Ian Roberts is, but he has still come out.

However, what I take offense to in your comment is when you refer to the league community. Aren't the female players also part of that community? The Qld and Australian captain is known to be in a same sex relationship. In fact, the NRLW are VERY inclusive. And also have a lot of players, just like the NRL, who are of Polynesian backgrounds. They don't seem to have issues with this. It's grandstanding in the name of religion.
I remember reading about Conway a while ago.

He came out AFTER he left the game & became a male model so not quite the same thing.
 
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