The Masked Singer judge Abbie Chatfield and Australia’s Got Talent’s Jack Vidgen were among the many Australian celebrities to call out seven “homophobic” NRL players, after they refused to wear a jersey that incorporated the LGBTQIA+ pride flag.

Several Manly Warringah Sea Eagles players stepped down from playing the July 28 match because they refused to wear the specifically designed jersey due to “religious beliefs”.

The players included Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula and Toafofoa Siple.

The pride jersey is near identical to their traditional club uniform, but it features several thin rainbow lines instead of the usual white detailing. The jersey is also only required to be worn for one match.

Abbie Chatfield Slammed The Seven NRL Players For Being “Homophobic in 2022” For Not Wearing a Pride Jersey

On her podcast, It’s a Lot with Abbie Chatfield, the reality star —who identifies as queer — slammed the seven NRL players for being “homophobes”.

She started the segment by mimicking the players with a deep voice, saying: “I’m not having a f*cking rainbow on my on my f*cking chest. F*ck that! [sic]”

Speaking as herself, Abbie continued: “I mean, obviously, you’re a homophobe because you don’t want the rainbow on your chest.

“You’re so fragile and so insecure in your own self that you can’t handle a slither of rainbow on your chest on your $400,000 a year rugby job… Jesus Christ, go and throw your ball. Get a grip. Ignore the rainbow; it’s okay. It’s alright [sic],” Abbie said.

Seven NRL Players Believed They Should Have Been Consulted About the Pride Flag Jersey Due to Their Religious Beliefs

The jersey was put forward as a single-match uniform and would make the Manly Sea Eagles the first NRL club to wear gear that showed support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

So Dramatic! Daily podcast

The seven players were allegedly offended that they weren’t consulted about the design.

“Who are you?” Abbie asked, before adding: “If you’re going to be outwardly homophobic in 2022 that you’re so scared of a rainbow stripe on a jersey, maybe you aren’t brave enough to play a sport [sic].”

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here‘s Jack Vidgen Believes Australia Doesn’t Need More Homophobia in Sport

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! star Jack — who came out as gay in 2019 — revealed that he found the news “very upsetting” because he grew up in Manly.

“Manly Sea Eagles is my home team, not that I’m that into sport now, but I grew up going to games,” Jack said on July 26, telling the players to “stand down, doll”.

“They should just stand down and f*ck off because we don’t need more homophobes in sport,” he said.

After Jack’s Instagram Story was posted, the seven players were confirmed to have stood down from the game.

The club will still wear the jerseys in their match against the Sydney Roosters on July 28, with the seven players noticeably absent from the match.

Married at First Sight New Zealand’s First Gay Participant Samuel Levi Shares His Concern for Young NRL Players

Samuel — who was one of the first LGBTQIA+ participants on Married at First Sight NZ — refused to accept “excuses” about it being about the players’ religious beliefs.

“It’s a homophobic statement, not a religious statement,” Samuel said.

Samuel Levi MAFS
Samuel Levi (R) refused to accept “excuses” about it being about the players’ religious beliefs. Source: Mediaworks.

“You can’t be picking and choosing — alcohol, gambling, you name it — but soon as it comes to promoting inclusion in our community and you say ‘no’, it’s a religious statement. You cannot use that as an excuse. I will not buy that.”

Samuel admitted he was concerned for the younger generation of football fans, who saw those players as their heroes and inspiration.

married at first sight samuel levi gay pride flag nrl players statement
Samuel said he “will not buy” the players’ excuses. Source: Instagram @_samuellevi.

“It worries me because I think of my younger self. If 12-year-old me saw all this sh*t happening, what would he do? That is why I use my platform to talk about these things,” he said.

In a separate Story, Samuel added: “If you cannot wear something to promote and include inclusivity of the LGBTQIA+ community, you should not have the right to play. You are a role model for many and not just yourself [sic].”

More Australian Celebrities Have Shared Their Opinions on the NRL Players Refusing to Wear Pride Jerseys

Many Aussie stars spoke out about the controversy, with LGBTQIA+ identifying comedian Joel Creasey buying his own pride jersey in support. The jerseys sold out online in hours.

Beauty and the Geek’s Karly Fisher and Australia’s Next Top Model’s Simone Holtznagel agreed with Abbie on her Instagram post, while MAFSBeck Zemek also shared her own statement.

“Someone tell those [seven] boys the [rainbow emoji] ain’t contagious, but wearing it might show respect for different people,” Beck penned.

Want even more goss? Listen to episode 204 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below! 

Know something that we don’t? Spill the tea here!

Get the tea first! Follow So Dramatic! on Instagram and tune in on Mondays to get your reality tea fix with the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto.