NRL: There will be no Pride Round in 2023, CEO Andrew Abdo confirms.

It is unlikely that the NRL will have a pride round this year as there are no plans to add themed rounds from last season.

The multicultural round, the Anzac round and the women’s league round were all celebrated throughout the game in 2022, but the Manly pride jersey proved to be one of the most controversial issues last year, with seven players choosing to boycott the game against the Roosters rather than wear specially designed jerseys.

The shirt ultimately derailed Manly’s season, with the club losing the last seven matches and the outrage surrounding the shirt causing great harm to members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Peter V’landis floated the idea of ​​a possible respect round when asked about it earlier this year, but it looks like the NRL won’t have a pride round in 2023.

This was asked by NRL Executive Director Andrew Abdo at the opening of the NRL Multicultural Round in Belmore on Tuesday morning.

“We do themed rounds as the season progresses. We do not expect any changes,” Abdo said.

“Right now we’re focusing on the multi-cultural round and you’ll see other rounds unfold as the season progresses.”

Hundreds of students from local schools were at Belmore Stadium on Tuesday, where the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Tiana Penitani and Hazem El Masri were poised to promote inclusion.

Abdo, who hails from South Africa and Lebanon, holds a special place in his heart for this round given that rugby league played a major role in helping him feel included when he was a child.

“Young people from different cultures and backgrounds that make them feel truly involved and give them the tools to assimilate into society is what I feel like as a child who grew up in a mixed environment, often feels like an outsider,” — he said. . . .

“Sport was the way I felt more involved. The launch of this program is another additional element of the Multicultural Round.

“Often in society we get together with people who are very similar to us, with a similar background, a similar gender or something. Sport makes us see the benefits and the power of diversity.”

Rugby league is entering the international arena and Abdo said he was proud that the NRL could play its part.

“The great statistic is that last year we had 153 NRL players at the World Championships. NRL players represented 13 of 16 countries,” he said.

“Australia is multicultural, rugby league is multicultural and I’m really proud of it and I’m very lucky to be a part of it.

Originally published as NRL big call for Pride Round after Manly issues in 2022