Manly Sea Eagles boycotter Josh Aloiai breaks silence on club’s rainbow NRL jersey saga

Male star Josh Aloiai, who was one of seven to boycott the club’s pride jersey because of religious beliefs, has insisted he will never wear a pride jersey because he doesn’t want to “endorse” gay relationships.

The 26-year-old, who is Christian, was one of a number of Sea Eagles players who retired and refused to wear the club’s rainbow ‘All in the League’ jersey in the 20th round.

It was a move that ignited a firestorm of controversy and ultimately derailed the club’s season, culminating in manager Des Hasler being sacked earlier this month.

Manly owner Scott Penn admitted in July that while the players were in a difficult position, the club will wear a rainbow pride shirt again in 2023, but Aloiai will not be one of those players.

Josh Aloiai, pictured enjoying a day on the water with his wife Taleah, has revealed his reasons for boycotting the pride t-shirt and says he will never wear one.

He has finally broken his silence on the saga, revealing that he will never wear a pride jersey.

“The short answer is no, I won’t (play in a pride jersey),” he said in a channel 9 interview.

‘We didn’t commit this year and we won’t do it next year or the year after that.

“You should never put yourself in that situation where your religious or cultural views or beliefs conflict with your work,” Aloiai said.

A player wears Manly’s rainbow pride jersey during the club’s Round 20 clash against the Roosters. Aloiai and seven other players boycott the match for religious reasons, refusing to wear the jersey called ‘Todos en Liga’

Josh Aloiai is the father of Uriah and is also expecting a new baby soon with his wife Taleah.

Aloiai, along with Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula, and Toafofoa Sipley, refused to wear the jersey due to their religious beliefs.

Many of them, including Aloiai, are very outspoken about their Christianity and views on social media, and Sipley has multiple anti-homosexuality posts on his Instagram dating back to 2010. Daily Mail Australia does not suggest that Sipley is homophobic or the author of the publications.

Aloiai himself, a member of a Pentecostal church, often posts biblical messages on his social media account.

A Bible verse (from a Christian app called Sprinkle of Jesus) that Josh Aloiai posted on his social media. Manly’s fixture often posts references to his faith.

In December 2020, he also posted an anti-abortion quote from conservative political commentator, Ben Shapiro, which read: “If a baby were outside the womb and you stuck a knife in its chest, you would be charged with first-degree murder.” You kill it in the womb and we call it a ‘human right’.

Interviewer Emma Lawrence asked the 121-game striker, who is currently in England representing Samoa at the World Cup, why he insists his views be respected when he does not respect the rights of people to have same-sex relationships. .

Aloiai offered a forceful response, reaffirming that he could not ‘endorse’ same-sex individuals or couples, but felt the media coverage was unfair.

Aloiai attended the club’s launch night on September 7 with his wife Taleah and said he would “take the good with the bad” in his post.

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“We (the seven Manly boycotters) personally don’t want to live that way or endorse it, but at the same time we quietly take our stand (not wearing a pride shirt),” he said.

‘Instead, we were the ones called everything under the sun.’

Aloiai, whose older sister is gay, denied that her strong stance has affected their relationship.

“She and I (have a close relationship) and she knows that I love her very much,” he said.

“Throughout all of this, we had a conversation and she totally understood where I was coming from.

‘He called me and said, ‘How are you doing? Are you okay? It’s crazy the way the media has exaggerated this,” Aloiai said.

Josh Aloiai, pictured with his son Uriah and wife Taleah last Christmas, which he captioned: ‘Family Day Celebrating Jesus’

At the time, an up-and-coming gay player from Manly was “devastated” by his club-mates’ actions, while the league’s top player, Sea Eagles legend Ian Roberts, also admitted he was “heartbroken” by the boycotters. position.

Other high-profile players, pundits and fans have also targeted Aloiai and the ‘Manly Seven’, accusing them of religious double standards given that the club’s stadium is named after a brewing company and their jersey shows a betting company on the front.

Queensland legend turned commentator Corey Parker was one of those people, with Aloiai calling him an “idiot” for doing it.

‘Corey Parker came in and said we shouldn’t pick and choose. He hit us in the media, (saying) we ran out of our betting-sponsored jerseys and betting-sponsored stadium,” he said.

‘I would love for you to show me in the Bible where gambling is mentioned. He does not, nor does he forbid alcohol within himself. He is an idiot.’

That is a comment for debate, given that the Bible has multiple references to not coveting money or gambling (1 Timothy 6:9-10, Proverbs 13:11).

The Old Testament (Proverbs 23:31) also features the verse: ‘Wine is a mocker and beer is a troublemaker; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.’

Josh Aloiai has played 31 games for the Sea Eagles since joining ahead of the 2021 season after playing 90 games for the Tigers.

Former Manly player Manase Fainu (left) shakes hands with Josh Aloiai, who supported his former teammate in court in August. Fainu was eventually found guilty of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after a fight at church.

But Aloiai, who spent much of August supporting his former teammate Manase Fainu in court after he was found guilty of stabbing a Mormon church leader, doesn’t deserve to be vilified either.

Proudly gay, Roberts came out as such in the wake of the scandal, urging gay and straight people alike to “respect” his stance even amid the wave of homophobic comments that many queer people regularly face.

Aloiai, like his Samoan teammates, has faced a checkered start to the World Cup in England, despite the team being regarded as the dark horses of the tournament.

They will be looking to achieve back-to-back wins when they take on France on Monday morning (AEST), a clash they must win if they hope to reach the quarter-finals.


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