[News] People back NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet in fight with NRL over stadia funding

Cancel it, Premier. You’re on a roll.

Division at Manly remains

So now we know. Despite the assurances by Daly Cherry-Evans that his Manly team remained unified even after seven players chose to trash the season rather than support the rainbow jersey, now comes the truth.

“[The seven] are still saying they weren’t consulted about the [rainbow] jersey and it went against their religious and cultural beliefs,” an anonymous first-grader told Wide World Of Sports columnist The Mole.

“We weren’t consulted when a betting sponsor was placed on our jersey – the guys wear that every week … I’m not sure what their god would say about that.

“No one asked us when our oval was renamed after a brewery – I don’t think their god would have been crazy about that either. And I can tell you very few young blokes in our club live by the 10 commandments – nor most young blokes in Australia for that matter.”

Bravo. How could you be anything other than still pissed off with the seven players who did this? What have they got to say for themselves? Funny you should ask. Step into the next section.

Standing strong – on rocky ground

At last, the Manly Seven speak!

Or at least one of them did, passing on his thoughts to Danny Weidler, for his column last Sunday.

“I can speak on behalf of all the players, the seven, plus another player who was asked to replace the players,” the player said, “the view of the group is united, the players will not be taking part in a pride exercise.”

Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Haumole Olakau’atu, Josh Aloiai and Josh Schuster are five of the seven Manly players who withdrew from the pride round clash.

Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Haumole Olakau’atu, Josh Aloiai and Josh Schuster are five of the seven Manly players who withdrew from the pride round clash.Credit:Getty/NRL Photos

Great, so they’ll trash next season’s rainbow jersey plan, too, and tear apart some within the club rather than even be tangentially involved with a gesture supporting the idea that gays are just like everyone else and deserve respect. But they’re not homophobic, so do bear that in mind! Look, If I was a potential Manly sponsor right now, I’d run screaming from the room. And if I was the incoming Manly CEO Tony Mestrov, I’d resign sooner than re-sign any of them.

The implacability of the Seven, was backed up by an intermediary telling Weidler: “The players will not be told what to believe.”

Great. Believe what you damn well please, no matter how absurd. God made everything, but strongly disapproves of gays – seriously?

“They won’t tell others how to believe or behave and want the same respect given to them.”

So, you will unsettle the season rather than stand with the notion of equality inclusivity for gay players and fans, but you want respect? Any thoughts that they might deserve some, too?

“While consultation was important, the real issue relates to their religion. The players have been criticised for playing in a sports betting jumper at a beer field. The critics may not have read the Bible. There is nothing to say it’s not OK, just not in excess …”

Champion, bring it in tight. The bible doesn’t come out against beer, or betting on sports outcomes by using points spread? And you are being freaking serious?

And yes, I gather the Old Testament actually does have some stuff against gays. That, however, would be the same text that, as in Exodus 21:7, says you can sell your youngest daughter into slavery? And let’s not forget Exodus 35:2 which says “Whoever does any work on [the Sabbath] is to be put to death.”

Say, don’t you professional footballers play on Sundays? Isn’t that your work?

I could go on, but if you google “President Josiah Bartlett and Leviticus”, you’ll get the drift from that famous episode of West Wing. He speaks for many of us.

Don’t get upset. They’re our beliefs, yo’?.

No London buzz for Commonwealth Games

The Colonial Games?

No doubt there’s been lots of fine sporting moments, and good luck to all the competitors. But as one who has been in London for the last week researching a book, it has been instructive.

Not even here, in the host country, is it a particularly big deal. It’s on, and when England wins something there is a good smattering of polite applause. But it doesn’t come up in conversation, nor on the street. It’s happening over in Birmingham, wherever that is, and that’s fine, but there is precisely zero buzz.

What They Said

Peter V’landys on the NSW Government developing a spine and – citing the Lismore floods, and COVID-19 costs – standing up to the NRL on the absurdity of building endless stadiums for a non-tax paying business that already has stadiums: “I find it appalling that they’re using human tragedy of the floods to renege on an agreement.” I daresay the people of Lismore might find endless expenditure shovelled into the gaping maw of stadiums even more appalling?

Premier Perrottet reacting to the subsequent threat that – brace yourself – the NRL grand final might go to Brissie because of it: “Sydney will always be the home of rugby league and, if Peter V’landys wants to take the grand final away from its home, then he can explain that to the fans.”

Former Sports Minister Stuart Ayres: “If the NRL took the grand final from Sydney, after the NSW government has spent in excess of $1.5 billion on sporting infrastructure that massively benefits the NRL … if the NRL walked away from the home of its sport here in NSW, the state where the grand final has always been played in with the exception of the COVID grand final from last year, that would be an extraordinary move.” See, Premier? We need that kind of money to “massively benefit,” NSW, not the NRL.

Grey Wiggle Andrew Redmayne on the abuse from Peruvian fans. “Half of me wishes I could speak and read Spanish, so I could know what they’re saying. But on the other half I’m glad I can’t, I think.” Es mejor que no comprendes nada, Rojomayne.

Rick Williams, who invented the refereeing “bunker” on which the NRL one was modelled: “When it first started, I said to Graham [Annesley], ‘you are getting guys into the bunker who want to referee the game. You can’t do that, it’s not right.’ That’s the way it has gone, which is unfortunate. It’s a brilliant tool for them, but it should just be for scoring. It’s just gone further and further and this is what happens.”

Kyle Chalmers denying there was any tension between him and his former partner Emma McKeon, after they’d won gold as part of a mixed relay: “I think the media really need to start to grow up and focus on the good things. You look at America, they jump on the winners, they support. No matter what I do these days, the media wants to jump on when I have done nothing but give all to this country. I stand and talk to you guys after every race. Bad, good, I’ve always stopped to give you guys the time of day.” Mighty big of you, Tex!

Chalmers on what will happen if we of the media don’t go into the room full of mirrors, take a good look at ourselves, and stop making shit up about him: “There’s definitely going to be a time when I stop [talking to you after races], if that is going to be the case.” We can’t say we haven’t been told.

Charles Barkley on not going to commentate on the LIV Tour and staying to do basketball which will be his last contract: “I don’t want to overstay my welcome. I’ve been doing it 21 years already. First off, dude, I’m almost 60 years old now. I’m very aware of my body disintegrating, like all the older guys’ bodies are disintegrating. I would like to be on vacation somewhere instead of sitting in Turner’s studio as I decay. I don’t want to decay on television.”

Charles Howell III, 43, formerly ranked No. 15 but now 150 spots lower, on what motivated him to take the blood money of the LIV mob and join the Saudis: “No, money was not a factor.” Perish the thought! Rather, he said, he believed that “Golf can be a force for change and good.”

Team of the Week

Emma McKeon. I honestly can’t keep track, but she seems to have won everything going in the pool at the Comm Games.

Emma McKeon

Emma McKeonCredit:John Shakespeare

Wallabies. Begin the Rugby Championships early Sunday morning in Mendoza.

Premier Perrottet. Finally, a Premier that stands up to the NRL.

Women’s Soccer. 87,192 fans at Wembley for the final was record for a European finals match – men’s or women’s!

Jess Fox. Successfully defended her world title in Extreme Slalom.

Alex de Minaur. The Australian tennis player won his sixth ATP title.

RIP. Johnny Famechon. One of our greatest boxers has died, aged 77. Among other achievements, he won the World featherweight title in 1969.

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