Homophobic Rugby Players Bring Retired Out Player Keegan Hirst Back to the Game

Saturday August 6, 2022
Originally published on August 2, 2022

Keegan Hirst
Keegan Hirst  (Source:Instagram)

Out rugby player Keegan Hirst is ending his retirement after seven members of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles staged a boycott over an LGBTQ+ Pride jersey, reports Sky Sports News.

"Just bring you a bit of breaking news from rugby league as well. Keegan Hurst who is the first English player to come out in terms of rugby league players will reverse his decision to retire. He is going to come back to the game," reported Sky News.

"Hirst, who became the first British professional rugby league footballer to come out as gay in 2015, said his return to the sport was partly inspired by seven members of Manly, a Sydney-based team, deciding they would rather forgo a match than wear a top in the colors of the rainbow in July," writes Pink News.

"Keegan Hirst, 34, has rejoined Batley Bulldogs, the Betfred Championship club with whom he made his name before earning a shot at the Super League with Wakefield Trinity in 2017," writes the website Code.

"After the recent thinly-veiled homophobia over a rainbow shirt, I thought: 'How can I help with visibility and inclusion?' " Hirst said in a statement.

"By lacing up my boots, putting on a playing shirt, and getting back out there, that's how.

"I still have plenty of games in me and am looking forward to help Batley continue their incredible season as they ready for their playoff campaign."

In the statement, Hirst explained how COVID led him to "lose touch with some of the things I hold dear is to me friends and rugby league," writes Sky Sports News. They added he could return to the field as early as Wednesday.

Hirst played 66 matches in the UK Super League with Wakefield Trinity, but retired from rugby league in 2020, reports the Australian site news.com.au.

On July 26, Hirst tweeted his feelings about the seven Manly players. "Hey @SeaEagles, I'd be honoured to wear your Pride shirt. As should all your players. Shame on the ones who aren't."

Check out pics from Hirst's IG: