In the wake of the Manly pride jersey saga, New South Wales Origin coach Brad Fittler has called attention to a bigger issue impacting the league – the number of charity-themed uniforms being adopted by clubs.
Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and the Eighth, Fittler said the increasing number of changes to clubs’ home and away jerseys are threatening the values and legacies associated with the teams’ famed designs.
“As a coach you try to sell the jersey – this is the history of the club, great players have worn this jersey,” Fittler said.
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“This (the pride jersey) is the seventh jersey Manly has worn this year.”
With each new jersey promoting a distinct cause or subject, Fittler warned the constant rollout of new merchandise was diminishing the message behind it and correspondingly, the public’s backing.
“I think we’re filtering down every cause they’re trying to do by trying to flog off a few other jerseys,” Fittler said.
“We wonder why everyone’s so fleeting with their support and fleeting with everything when clubs can’t have a home jersey anymore.”
In response, the Panthers and Roosters legend proposed that clubs don only their home, away and Indigenous jerseys, and nothing else.
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“Just have a home jersey so a kid can know what jersey to wear to the footy,” he said.
“I think the league need to come down on this.
“You know outside your home and away, and Indigenous jersey, that’s it. Don’t touch your jersey.
“[Changing] it should be sacrilege.”
Manly’s 2022 apparel range has so far included its traditional ‘hoops’ design, Indigenous, retro, community and inclusion kits.
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