Foundation rugby league team the Newtown Jets have announced Australian rugby league's first Pride and Diversity Day in support of the LGBTQI Community.
The Jets, the Canterbury Cup feeder side for the Cronulla Sharks, have drawn support from the NRL, NSWRL and the Sharks for the event, to be held at their Henson Park home ground on Saturday June 8 against Parramatta's second-tier team, the Wentworthville Magpies.
Newtown players will wear rainbow socks and a rainbow flag will be printed on the field in support of the LGBTIQ community.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg welcomed the initiative as another example of rugby league's inclusiveness.
"Everyone is welcome and everyone is equal, no matter their background, heritage, sexual orientation, gender or ability," Greenberg said.
"The Jets have such a positive influence and following amongst their local community and beyond and this is another example of how rugby league can bring people together and celebrate as one."
Sharks coach John Morris said his club was also proud to support the initiative.
"It will be a great day for all involved and strengthens the strong partnership pride and diversity has with rugby league, the first national sporting code to endorse the anti-homophobia and inclusion framework," Morris said.
Everyone is welcome and everyone is equal, no matter their background, heritage, sexual orientation, gender or ability.Todd Greenberg
Jets director Dave Ray said the club's footprint is home to one of Australia's largest LGBTQI communities.
"The launch of Pride and Diversity Day celebrates the contribution of the LGBTQI community to our club and region," Ray said.
"It reaffirms that Newtown is everyone's team, and everyone is welcome at Henson Park. I thank my fellow directors, the Cronulla Sharks, the NSWRL and the NRL for their immediate and strong support of Pride and Diversity Day."
The theme of the day is "Everyone is Welcome", reiterating Newtown's history of inclusion of players and fans from all facets of society, and proudly supporting the LGBTQI community's contribution to the Newtown family, according to Ray.
Inner West Council Mayor Darcy Byrne said the Jets draw supporters from every walk of life.
"The LGBTQI community turn out in force on the Hill at Henson and it's great to see the club showing respect and solidarity in return," Byrne said.
"The Inner West is a spiritual home for the Newtown Jets and the gay and lesbian community and as Mayor I am very proud that both are central to our sense of identity."
Tickets for the match are $10 for adults, $5 concession while kids under 16 enter free of charge. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.