The Vodafone Warriors and Manly Sea Eagles will proudly carry the hashtag #TheyAreUs into tomorrow’s NRL match in Christchurch.
In a show of solidarity, the hashtag #TheyAreUs will appear on the playing jerseys of both teams as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in the recent tragedy in Christchurch.
The hashtag #TheyAreUs came about after New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden used the words during a press conference after the shooting attacks at two mosques in Christchurch that resulted in 50 deaths.
The hashtag #TheyAreUs will appear on the back of the Vodafone Warriors jersey under the player numbers while it will sit under the Sea Eagles crest on the Manly jerseys.
Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George said his team would continue to wear the #TheyAreUs hashtag on their jerseys for the rest of the year when they play at home as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives in Christchurch.
“Like everyone, we were devastated with what happened a fortnight ago and we wanted to come up with a way to honour those who lost their lives,” George said.
“The new material on our jersey meant we couldn’t put the hashtag on our chest under our logo. We weren’t going to let that stop us, though, and were determined to do something lasting and meaningful.
“For us, it’s a real privilege to be playing a game in Christchurch – a city that has been through so much.
“Our community team and injured players have been on the ground since Wednesday and I know Stephen Kearney and the boys are determined to get down there and put in a fitting performance on Saturday for the locals who have been through so much.”
The round three NRL match is the second consecutive year the Manly Sea Eagles have played a home game in Christchurch.
Sea Eagles CEO Lyall Gorman said the club was proud to have the hashtag #TheyAreUs on their jerseys.
“What happened in Christchurch was beyond belief and our thoughts and prayers have been with the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and those who are still undergoing medical treatment,’’ Gorman said.
“The people of Christchurch warmly embraced our club during our visit last year and we were incredibly humbled and honoured by it.
“In this time of real sadness, this is an opportunity for us to again be amongst the people of Christchurch and hopefully make some small contribution and difference to a healing process that is extraordinary in its nature.
“For us, it is about being humble and respectful and working with the city’s leaders to see how we can support this wonderful community in their greatest time of need.
“The power of sport can actually bring people together, give them a reason to celebrate, give them something to look forward to, build hope for a brighter future as well as honour the recent tragic events.
“I truly believe that sport can play a significant role in the healing process. It is one of the great outlets that inspires and unites communities in good times and bad. Hopefully Saturday’s game will be a part of that process.”
Before kick-off on Saturday, both teams will take the field together and join arms in a circle to observe a minute’s silence.