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Pro rugby team’s Pride promo goes horribly wrong

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An Australian rugby coach has apologized to the homophobic players on his roster after a team Pride promo didn’t go as planned.Coach Des Hasler arranged for his Manly Warringah Sea Eagles to don uniforms featuring rainbow accents for a game on Thursday.

Fun, right? Except that seven players have said will not be wearing the gear, or playing in the game, citing religious and cultural objections.They’re especially upset that the team wasn’t consulted ahead of time, but whatever point they may have on that issue is difficult to empathize with.Hasler apologized to players Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolu Koula, and Toafofoa Sipley for the “poor execution” of the Pride jerseys, calling it a “significant mistake.”Related: You must see this highly unusual Pride display at an Oregon soccer gameOur thoughts and prayers go out to these seven players who’ve no doubt suffered quite the ordeal.

But perhaps the apology should actually go to LGBTQ athletes and fans who for too long have been fearful of expressing themselves because of, well, exactly this kind of nonsense.Coach Hasler didn’t quite address that group directly, but he did explain why he initially decided to run with the promo.“The intent of the rainbow application of our jersey was to represent diversity and inclusion for all, utilizing the symbolic colors of Pride to embrace all groups who feel marginalized, face discrimination, and a suppressed share of voice,” he said during a press conference.

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