Jock Landale, a former Melbourne United star and current Phoenix Suns NBA forward, has criticized the Cairns Taipans’ decision not to wear the NBL’s inaugural pride jersey. The Taipans faced intense backlash last month for opting out of wearing the one-off jersey, which featured a small rainbow-colored sponsor’s logo in support of inclusivity and the LGBTQI community.
Cairns defended their decision, citing protection for a player on the team who had reportedly been abused and “vilified” due to religious objections to wearing the uniform. However, Landale sees the situation differently. “People should be able to live their lives freely and as they want,” he says.
Landale also praised Melbourne United basketballer Isaac Humphries for coming out and addressing his mental health struggles related to his sexuality. “It was a phenomenal feat and a big step forward for the league,” says Landale.
Despite the Taipans’ stance, Landale has made it clear that he would happily wear an NBA pride jersey. “100%,” he says. “I just believe people should be able to live the way they want to live.”