Gay player Keegan Hirst ends retirement in protest of Manly Sea Eagles jersey saga – Michmutters

Gay player Keegan Hirst ends retirement in protest of Manly Sea Eagles jersey saga

A gay English rugby league player has come out of retirement as a personal protest against the Manly seven.

Former Wakefield, Dewsbury and Batley prop Keegan Hirst made headlines throughout the UK when he became the first player there to come out as gay in 2015.

He retired in 2020 but at 34, has now decided to return to the game, incensed by the seven Manly players who boycotted last week’s Everyone In League rainbow jersey game.

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He will play out the season with his former club Batley in the Championship, England’s second division.

“COVID added to my own personal circumstances which made me lose touch with some of the things that I hold dearest to me; friends and rugby league,” Hirst said in a statement.

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“After the recent thinly-veiled homophobia over a rainbow shirt, I thought how can I help with visibility and inclusion? By lacing up my boots, putting on a playing shirt and getting back out there. That’s how I help with visibility and inclusion.

“I still have plenty of games in me and I’m looking forward to helping Batley continue their incredible season.”

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