Josh Aloiai makes staggering new claims in Manly pride jersey saga

Josh Aloiai is pictured surrounded by Manly Sea Eagles teammates.
Josh Aloiai says he and other Manly teammates have no intention of wearing a pride-themed jersey next season should the club go down that road once more. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Manly Sea Eagles star Josh Aloiai says he will continue to refuse to wear a pride jersey should the club again seek to do so in 2023, revealing he and other teammates had pitched the idea for a 'Christian' jersey.

Aloiai was one of seven Sea Eagles stars who refused to wear a rainbow-decorated pride jersey during the 2022 season, a move which ultimately caused a divide among players and lead, in part, to the sacking of coach Des Hasler.

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The saga precipitated a seven-game losing streak for Manly, which cruelled their hopes of playing finals and continues to be a bone of contention.

Club owner Scott Penn said the club would look into introducing a rainbow jersey next season, despite the fact it derailed their NRL campaign this year.

While Aloiai and other teammates have avoided media scrutiny in the months afterwards, he and teammates Tolatau Koula and Haumole Olakau'atu have since sought to explain themselves while on international duties.

Aloiai said he and his Manly teammates had received death threats but would not waiver in their beliefs.

"The short answer is no, I won't (play in a pride jersey)," he told the Nine Network.

"We didn't compromise this year and we won't compromise next year or the year after.

"A difference of opinion is not a difference of respect."

The 26-year-old prop also revealed an idea for a a 'Christian' jersey was knocked back by other teammates ahead of the Easter Round.

Aloiai, who claimed his gay sister supported his stance, said his teammates were left in an unenviable position because their religious views directly conflicted with their job.

"You should never be put in (that) situation," he said.

"Our atheist boys, for Easter round, we wanted to wear a Christian jersey and they weren't comfortable in doing that.

"It's all the same - I will support them."

Manly slammed for brutal move after Des Hasler sacking

Popular Sydney broadcaster Ray Hadley has slammed the Sea Eagles over what he labelled the "unforgivable" treatment of Kristie Fulton, the club's former pathways co-ordinator.

Fulton - daughter of the late Manly legend and rugby league 'Immortal' Bob Fulton - joined a growing list of staffers to be shown the door at Manly, following Hasler.

Hasler's exit has sparked a number of subsequent departures at Manly, with The Daily Telegraph reporting last week that Fulton left the club's Brookvale offices in tears after being sacked, effective immediately.

Ray Hadley is pictured at the 2019 Rugby League Hall of Fame night.
Ray Hadley has ripped into Manly for sacking Kristie Fulton, the daughter of NRL legend Bob Fulton. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images)

Hadley was a close friend of Fulton's father Bob and has savaged Manly for their treatment of the club legend's daughter.

The veteran rugby league caller claimed on his 2GB radio program that Fulton was “marched out of the Manly offices" shortly after being terminated for "allegedly bullying someone".

Hadley went on to claim that Fulton had raised concerns about the rainbow jersey fiasco that was ultimately credited with destroying Manly's finals hopes and ending Hasler's second stint as Sea Eagles coach.

“Kristie told various people the so-called Rainbow Round would cause problems,” Hadley said.

“Well, it did more than that. It cost Manly their season and eventually cost (coach) Des Hasler his job."

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