Haneen Zrieka says she respects all people regardless of sexuality

ALFW player Haneen Zreika has issued a statement in relation to her decision to sit out this week’s clash between her team the Greater Western Sydney Giants and Western Bulldogs.

Zreika, who is the only Muslim player in the league, opted to not play this week because she felt wearing the team’s Pride round jumper would be against her religious beliefs. While she had participated in the 2020 Pride round, on that occasion the team did not have a special uniform the match.

Posting to her Instagram page, Zrieka said she respected all people regardless of their sexual orientation and it had been a hard decision to make.

“As the first Australian Muslim woman in the AFLW, I have a responsibility to represent my faith and my community,” Zreika wrote “I respect people regardless of their sexual orientation.

“This decision was extremely difficult and I appreciate the support of AFL, Giants, my teammates.

“Inclusion is about creating a space where people are able to respect their right to choose how they live their life as long as they don’t advocate hate and division.

“My platform is not a place for people to disrespect and harass others so please be kind.” she concluded.

While she sat out this round her team took to the field on Friday night and defeated the Bulldogs by 21 points.

Graeme Watson

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