West Coast Eagles manager Michael Prior apologizes for West Coast vs Adelaide Crows pride shirt comments
West Coast AFLW coach Michael Prior has apologized for his comments about the Eagles’ decision not to wear a Pride sweater during this weekend’s Pride round.
Round three of the AFLW season will recognize the LGBTQIA+ community, with 13 of the 14 clubs wearing pride jumpers to mark the occasion.
But the Eagles are the only team that hasn’t designed a themed jersey, despite several core players identifying as LGBTQIA+.
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However, the West Coast players wore pride training shirts and rainbow socks as they warmed up for their clash against Adelaide Crows on Saturday.
Prior came under fire on Friday when he refused to comment on the club’s decision not to wear a pride sweater.
“I have a simple vision,” he said western australia.
“It’s not my role. I’m talking about footy, not what we wear,” he told the publication.
“I think we did the pride to death thing to be honest.
“I want to talk about the football, not the sweater.”
Now Prior has apologised, explaining he was frustrated that the interview was not just about his side’s next game against Adelaide.
He said his comments did not reflect his or West Coast’s views on the Pride Round and that he was disappointed that people were upset by what he said.
“Our football club, the players and I fully support Pride Round and the LGBTQIA+ community,” Prior said in a statement.
“The West Coast Eagles pride themselves on being an inclusive club where everyone is welcome and we know how important that is to our players, staff, members and supporters.
“I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by The West Australian’s report on Friday, and the players, coaches, staff and I look forward to taking part in the Pride Round this weekend.
“We recognized and participated in the Pride Round this week wearing a unique practice jersey, rainbow socks, media pieces and we will also have recognition on the pitch on game day.
“Designing, crafting and producing a Guernsey game is a process we take seriously and we engage with our game group throughout this process before publishing, celebrating and respectfully informing about our new sweater.
“To further clarify comments I made in an interview with The West Australian, in my conversation with the reporter, I said that as the manager of the West Coast Eagles AFLW I was keen to talk about football and the huge challenge our group have ahead of them against the Adelaide Crows tomorrow.
“It was widely reported that our club did not have Guernsey for the Pride Round this weekend, and my comments reflected that as a club we have already extensively detailed the reasons for this and we now stand by. to focus on the game to come.
“Football is a game for everyone and as a club the West Coast Eagles welcome everyone into the football family.”