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Muslim AFLW player stands down from GWS game after refusing to wear pride jersey on religious grounds

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27th January, 2022
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Muslim Greater Western Sydney player Haneen Zreika has opted to miss this weekend’s match after deciding not to wear the team’s pride jumper on religious grounds., according to multiple media reports.

Zreika was the first Islamic player to play AFL Women’s after making her debut in 2019. The Age said she had grappled with the decision in recent weeks before deciding to withdraw from Friday’s clash against the Western Bulldogs.

The paper reported it understood Zreika addressed her teammates earlier this week regarding her decision “in what was an emotional and educational session for all players, which includes a number of LGBTQIA+ community members”.

She played in last year’s pride round, but the Giants did not wear a pride jumper.

“Zreika – who supports her teammates and their beliefs – strives to be a leader within the Muslim community and it is understood that wearing the jumper in Friday’s game could compromise her standing within her community,” wrote News Corp.

“She is likely to attend the game at Henson Park.

“It has been an unchartered situation for the club, which remains firmly committed to its support of AFLW Pride Round, its specially designed jumper and what it stands for.”

The AFL has declined to comment.