It is hard to imagine going to a stadium to watch someone do battle with a lion or a tiger and probably get killed. Yes, it is very hard to imagine that a person would want to watch that sort of stuff. 

It is also hard to imagine that a game I used to love (Rugby League) continues to pursue a path that drives spectators and now even players away. I regularly ‘shake my head’ and say to myself ‘what is going on?’ Perhaps you feel the same. 

And what do I mean by the latter? It is this (perhaps it has been all sorted by the time you read this, but I don’t think the trajectory will sadly change at all). In last week’s, The Australian, newspaper, it read:

Seven stars have sensationally stood down from Thursday night’s match against the Sydney Roosters in protest at the club’s decision to wear a pride jumper. 

The seven players are understood to be Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau’atu, Tolutau Koula, Christian Tuipulotu and Toafofoa Sipley. All are deeply religious. 

The players flatly rejected the club’s wishes to wear the jersey, They had hoped they could wear Manly’s traditional jersey but the NRL will not allow players to take the field in an alternative strip. 

The club has no intention of withdrawing the jersey which includes rainbow colours across the jersey. 

Manly will become the first club in rugby league’s 114 year history to wear a jersey – titled, ‘Everyone in League’ – celebrating diversity and inclusivity in NRL.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t for one minute think that the game is not for all who can play the game well at that level. But to wear a jersey to celebrate that is another thing. At one level it is no different to the Christian church or a Christian school being told that you must celebrate sexual diversity and inclusivity – and more than that, you have to wear a pride shirt that says it. 

Yes, what on earth is going on? One could throw up one’s hands and have nothing to do with it all, but we are called to engage in a world that is under the judgment of God (like we once were) and therefore desperately needs to hear about Jesus—hence the MFM from last week. Thanks Cam.

Trev xo