19 August 2022

Australians blind to gambling as Pride jersey debate rages: Costello

The Reverend Tim Costello has warned about the normalisation of gambling in Australia. Picture: iStock

Jenan Taylor

27 July 2022

Gambling’s unnoticed place in society has been highlighted by controversy over LGBTIQ+ colours on a rugby league jersey, an anti-gambling body has warned. 

Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate the Reverend Tim Costello said gambling had so saturated society that it was virtually invisible even at a press conference. 

Mr Costello was responding to the widespread debate about the some Manly Sea Eagles rugby players’ boycott over their club’s gay pride jersey.

Read more: Rainbow jersey insensitive to players, faith organisation says

The players said the jersey conflicted with their religious and cultural beliefs. 

Manly Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler called a press conference and apologised for any harm caused by the club’s execution of the jersey initiative. 

But Mr Costello said the club’s concerns about causing harm appeared to be nullified by the presence of the prominent Points Bet logo displayed on its jerseys. 

”If the Manly Sea Eagles had been sponsored by a firearms body and had a guns logo on its clothing, there’d be outrage,” Mr Costello said. 

“In this case, there’s the players, and there’s Des Hasler the coach doing a press conference and apologising with Points Bet advertising front and centre on the jerseys, and no one even sees the irony.” 

Mr Costello also said he supported the players and that they had a right to say that the gay pride jerseys offended them. 

“I think secular Australia is slowly coming to realise you can’t have successful multiculturalism without the faiths that power multiculturalism,” Mr Costello said. 

“You’ve got to take those faith seriously. The Pasifika players have very strong Christian faith that should be respected. Likewise, the faith of Muslims and of Hindus. 

“If you’re going to have cohesive multiculturalism, it only exists because of the faiths that power them.”

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