Rugby League supporters, including past players, will join hundreds of thousands of people as part of the annual Mardi Gras in Sydney on Saturday night, as the NRL supports and celebrates 'Pride in League'.
Former rugby league players including Wendell Sailor, Paul Langmack, Ian Roberts, Dan Hunt, Jamie Feeney and Dene Halatau, will join a host of rugby league staff members and supporters as part of the parade, to promote equality within rugby league and throughout communities.
This is the third year running that the NRL has had a presence in the parade and the second year in a row that the game has had a float, celebrating and encouraging diversity and pride for all.
Recently retired Wests Tigers player, Dene Halatau said he was excited to join many within the rugby league community as part of this year's Mardi Gras.
"This is the first time I have been part of the parade and it's fantastic to see so many people supporting not only the parade, but more importantly, equality for all – no matter your background or sexual orientation," Halatau said.
The NRL float will feature astro-turf, goalposts, lit with the colours of the rainbow simulating a Rugby League field and will also carry the tagline 'Pride in League' with the RESPECT hashtag.
The NRL, State Leagues and NRL Clubs are vocal supporters of eliminating homophobia both on and off the field.
In 2014, the game implemented an anti-homophobia and inclusion framework, in addition to ongoing workshops and education delivered by the NRL Wellbeing and Education team.
The NRL is also proud to be participating in the Pride in Sport (PIS) Index; a newly established benchmarking instrument designed to measure, comment on and make recommendations in relation to the creation of inclusive and equitable environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) players, supporters and participants within participating Australian sporting codes and sporting clubs.
The PIS Index was developed by the Pride In Sport Advisory Group (Advisory Group), which was established in 2015 and consists of nine peak sport bodies, including the NRL.