One question Des Hasler can’t answer about pride jersey furore, Manly Sea Eagles, NRL news

Manly coach Des Hasler has been praised for his comments when he apologised for the Sea Eagles pride jersey drama on behalf of the club.

But one question Hasler couldn’t answer has turned the attention on the club’s management after he admitted the players and coaches were not consulted about the jersey.

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The Sea Eagles are ninth on the NRL ladder but in a scrap for the final spot in the top eight ahead of Thursday’s clash against the eighth-placed Sydney Roosters.

Hasler confirmed the seven players who promised to boycott would not play and the club would wear the jersey.

“We are here today to apologise for a significant mistake made by the Manly Sea Eagles football club,” he began.

“As you are aware the club, yesterday, launched a jersey for a round, we applied rainbow colours to the jersey to replace all of the white spaces. In the white lines.

“There was little consultation or collaboration with key stakeholders. Both inside and outside the club. Sadly, this poor management and project management has caused significant confusion, discomfort and pain for many people.”

Hasler later admitted: “None of the coaching staff or the players had prior knowledge to the jersey.”

While fronting media, Hasler was asked why the players hadn’t been consulted in the decision and not someone from management.

“You’ll have to talk to management about that, I can’t answer that,” Hasler said.

The Sea Eagles are set to become the first club in NRL history to wear a pride jersey.

Hasler said the club would undergo an “internal review” in order not make the same mistake again.

But the comments have turned the spotlight on the club as The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio called out the situation.

“The most powerful and emotive press conference I have seen from Des Hasler. He handled it with all the seriousness it deserves. However, how the coach is left to explain the situation and not senior @SeaEagles management is bewildering,” he tweeted.

Sport reporter Bernie Coen posted: “@SeaEagles coach Des Hasler did not miss when making this statement. I dare say some officials at the club could well regret not consulting others.”

Radio journalist Lui Zacher tweeted: “Well done to the @SeaEagles for the way they’ve handled this situation. Both coach Des Hasler and captain Daly Cherry-Evans spoke well, sensibly and sensitively.”

AAP’s Scott Bailey said: “No club should ever have to apologise for planning to wear a rainbow on their jersey. The end.”

Manly owner Scott Penn had spoken to the Sydney Morning Herald earlier in the day and confirmed the club would remain committed to wearing the pride jersey despite the ongoing backlash.

“It was totally an inclusivity and diversity jersey,” he told the Nine publication.

“It was never just about pride. It was about saying we want everyone in the game and making them feel they can get involved. Players have been put in a tough position.

“We’re not going to force them to play, but we’re committed to the jersey and we’re committed to inclusion. We’re not walking away from our position. And we respect their beliefs.

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