Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#21  Postby Ironclad » Apr 15, 2019 5:09 pm

France punished someone, for having an opinion? lol
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#22  Postby Hermit » Apr 15, 2019 6:23 pm

Blackadder wrote:Israel Folau, an Australian international rugby player, has had his contract terminated for preaching homophobic comments.

I’m not sure where I stand on this. I find his comments repugnant. Yet I am uneasy with punishing people for expressing their views. I would rather see such ideas wither and die from exposure and ridicule. Punishing Christians just seems to stoke their sense of martyrdom and makes them worse. Then again, he is a national figure and signed a contract prohibiting him from making such comments on social media.

What do you think?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47932231

Firstly, as of six hours ago Folau has not been sacked yet. Secondly, if he finishes up being sacked, the reasoning behind it is not punitive. It is to uphold the image of Rugby Australia as an inclusive organisation.

In August 2014 RA has formulated and published a document titled Inclusion Policy. In part it reads:
Rugby AU recognises that both intentional and unintentional homophobic behaviour exist within society in Australia, and that this can have adverse and potentially significant consequences for some individuals and our game.

Sometimes these consequences mean that individuals who want to play Rugby or be involved in our game, feel excluded and as a result cease their involvement or even hide their sexuality. In some cases, individuals who continue playing may be subjected to homophobic language or actions and are needlessly and wrongfully subjected to discrimination, thus reducing their enjoyment of Rugby. These outcomes are unacceptable and unwelcome in our game.

The policy applies to all members and employees of Rugby Australia, of which Israel Folau is one. He has made a post on Facebook, saying that drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators will go to hell unless they repent. Hardly an inclusive attitude, is it? He is of course entitled to believe whatever crap he wants, but he is a representative of RA, and the post was public. His entire account is public, and has attracted over 137,000 followers. The objectionable post attracted 9,528 likes in five hours. On his Facebook page it says: About - Rugby Player for NSW Waratahs & Australia. He is a representative of an organisation purporting to have and implement an inclusive policy, and he is breaking it in public for the second time.

Rugby Australia, as well as his club, the Waratahs, are squirming about sacking him. They really do not want to see it happening. Folau is their best player by far, and his performance on the field is a huge drawcard, worth $4 million to his club alone. On the international level the Wallabies are likely to lose to Japan in September without him. And yet, RA must do something about his repeated exclusionist exhortations to remain credible as an inclusionist organisation. To remain credible it will have to sack him. It's a bind.

So, no, though Folau will suffer a huge financial loss, this is not about punishment. This is about preserving a corporate image.

Speaking for myself, I welcome his sacking, should it occur. Falau is a hero to many a young, impressionable rugby fan. I venture to say that many of the likes his post received were more about the fact that their hero wrote it than what he wrote, but the sentiment is made attractive because he is a hero. I very much look forward to seeing him deprived of using his standing within Rugby Australia as a vehicle for propagating his medieval crap. FFS, quoting from a Pauline letter in the 21st century! :roll:

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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#23  Postby Matt_B » Apr 15, 2019 9:41 pm

Yeah, he's been given 48 hours to walk it back before he's got the sack. That's a heck of a lot more leniency than most people who said such things would get, but his public profile is such that visibly recanting these views would also send a powerful message.

On the other hand, if he wants to double down he's perfectly entitled to. He'll just have to find a new employer whose values are in tune with his. Such employers do exist in Australia, I'm sad to report, even if they are starting to get a little thin on the ground.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#24  Postby I'm With Stupid » Apr 16, 2019 2:24 am

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Here he is advertising Qantas. Qantas's CEO is gay, and isn't particularly happy with his company being advertised by this man.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#25  Postby Hermit » Apr 16, 2019 5:58 am

I had a bit of a read of posts on his Facebook account. It's infested with fundamentalist Christian parents swooning over him and saying what a great role model he is for their children.

So now I hope Folau's contract gets cancelled. The sooner the better.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#26  Postby Hamster » May 13, 2019 4:06 am

I'm not sure how much I care about Izzy's career but obviously he can plead his case as anyone does.
I find this perspective from Mark Gerard thoughtful and based on better logic some I've heard (especially from Farr Jones which I think is surprisingly and acutely embarrassing).

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-09/israel-folau-deserves-redemption-former-wallaby-says/11093056?section=sport
Sport is an avenue for people to go onto the field and make those mistakes better and become a hero again.

"The things he's done aren't as serious or heinous as what we have seen from other players.

"We've seen illicit drugs, assaults, alcohol, performance-enhancing drugs, players in precarious positions bringing really poor aspects to the game."

A sense of proportion is not always easy to maintain but should be the aim as far as we can manage IYAM.
However given the usual way more "heinous" breaches unfold involve some kind of contrition, apology and undertaking to not re-offend. So I can sense some obstacles given his behaviour so far.
He also made a mistake in indicating he was prepared to walk away from RU - which would solve the problem.

I guess we will see.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#27  Postby felltoearth » May 13, 2019 4:24 am

I disagree. Holding opinions on a national platform that are dangerous to other’s lives is a lot worse that actions that ruin one’s own life. Sense of proportion indeed.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#28  Postby Thommo » May 13, 2019 4:28 am

It's thoughtful enough, but ultimately I disagree.

Gay rugby players have been bullied and cowed into silence well into the 21st century. Top level sport is one of the worst areas for participation of openly gay people, and rugby is amongst the worst sports*. Gay people have been cowed into silence or kicked to the kerb for an awfully long time. The idea that a false apology and "lesson learning" is enough to let an out and proud homophobe (who happens to be really fucking good at making the team he wants to win, win) back in the team because it's worked before seems somewhere adjacent to "self-serving" and "thin" to me.

My deep concern (aside from the role model issue, and what it says to Aussie fans) is that it prioritises the bird in the hand of a current player against all the future gay players who've been pushed out for far too long.

Admittedly I'm somewhere between "purist" and "Nazi" on these sporting issues, so I'm not sure my tuppence worth is all that valuable, and I'm not a great RU fan (let alone Aussie RU).

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Thomas_(rugby)
In December 2009, Thomas announced publicly that he is gay.[18] He told the Daily Mail, "I don't want to be known as a gay rugby player. I am a rugby player, first and foremost I am a man".[19] Thomas' public confirmation of his sexuality made him the first openly gay professional rugby union player.[20]

That's 2009. 2009.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#29  Postby felltoearth » May 13, 2019 4:41 am

I’m assuming that’s a (much better than my) response to hamster.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#30  Postby Thommo » May 13, 2019 5:04 am

It's a response to what he quoted, yes. I'm not trying to rebut anybody, I'm just trying to distract myself from other things.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#31  Postby OlivierK » May 13, 2019 5:14 am

Thommo wrote:My deep concern (aside from the role model issue, and what it says to Aussie fans) is that it prioritises the bird in the hand of a current player against all the future gay players who've been pushed out for far too long.

Aussie fans will be fine. We understand that Folau's a fundy cunt, and Aussies generally don't like fundy cunts. We also understand that Australian attitudes are that winning is important, and sports administrators are weasels who will bend their principles to accommodate star athletes (cf. picking David Warner for the cricket team at the very first opportunity after his cheating suspension, despite insisting that there had been cultural change in the team). I'd actually suspect that sponsors are better at responding meaningfully to the public mood, and Folau hasn't fared well in that regard.

Off topic: hopefully just 6 days now until we're rid of our fundy cunt Prime Minister, installed mid-term by his party in a weird electoral suicide ritual.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#32  Postby Hermit » May 13, 2019 5:29 am

Four weeks after Rugby Australia issued a notice that recommended Folau's four-year, $4 million contract be terminated on the ground of him having committed high-level breach of players' code of conduct - that is having contravened the organisation's inclusivity policy - and despite the fact that Folau has made it crystal clear that he will not back down, it is still agonising about what to do about it. While Folau will definitely not be playing in any matches on the international level, or so it appears at the moment, there seems to be no impediment for him continuing to play on the league level with his team, the Waratahs, and his contract with RA remains intact.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#33  Postby Thommo » May 13, 2019 5:29 am

Don't talk to me about Warner, I actually care about cricket.

To be fair to cricket Australia, the ICC were vastly more totally fucking pathetic in their response. Absurd as it may seem cricket Australia were the more serious of the involved parties.

I think Bancroft, Warner and the nonspecific implicated others got away with murder, frankly, but on the other hand the consistent attitude of their former teammates who now work as broadcasters that transmit here in the UK, and that of their coaches, has been just as bad, which seems symptomatic of a deep cultural problem where abuse and gamesmanship has somehow been normalised to extravagent degree. And yet they wouldn't see themselves in the same category as someone like Muralitharan.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#34  Postby OlivierK » May 13, 2019 5:55 am

I know you're a cricket fan, so I chose Warner's case deliberately as an example of the amorality of sporting administrators. I was never a fan of the Australian national men's team's culture, but with Warner back, I'm more inclined to not follow at all, rather than watch and disapprove.

Back to Folau, I'm genuinely hopeful that contemporary Australian culture has moved so far past his antediluvian views that their potential for harm is nullified by the open ridicule and contempt that is showered on him for sharing them. One of my kids is LGBTQ, and I know they feel more supported by the public bollocking that Folau's getting than attacked by his transparently judgemental statements.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#35  Postby Thommo » May 13, 2019 5:56 am

OlivierK wrote:One of my kids is LGBTQ, and I know they feel more supported by the public bollocking that Folau's getting than attacked by his transparently judgemental statements.


That is genuinely heartening. Good on them.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#36  Postby Hamster » May 13, 2019 6:00 am

I fully accept that Izzy's breach is arguably more damaging than some of your bog standard cheating, fat-headed behaviour under the influence (or not) of booze etc.
Seems to me unlikely he'll show any believable contrition as he and his cohort are convinced he's done nothing wrong.

BTW - while I too was appalled by the ball-tampering by Bancroft/Warner and Smith and would never seek to excuse it I still can see that their treatment was not "light" within the recent historical context where such transgressions have been proved. The Safrican captain, Faf himself, was twice guilty of this same charge and received no suspension at all.
Just sayin.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#37  Postby surreptitious57 » May 13, 2019 7:29 am

Being sacked for inappropriate tweets is becoming much more widespread now it seems
And its not just apparent role models this is happening to but complete nobodies as well

Some companies already view their employees social media to see if they are saying anything objectionable
People need to realise that if they say something others regard as offensive then there may be consequences
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#38  Postby Thommo » May 13, 2019 7:52 am

Hamster wrote:I fully accept that Izzy's breach is arguably more damaging than some of your bog standard cheating, fat-headed behaviour under the influence (or not) of booze etc.
Seems to me unlikely he'll show any believable contrition as he and his cohort are convinced he's done nothing wrong.

BTW - while I too was appalled by the ball-tampering by Bancroft/Warner and Smith and would never seek to excuse it I still can see that their treatment was not "light" within the recent historical context where such transgressions have been proved. The Safrican captain, Faf himself, was twice guilty of this same charge and received no suspension at all.
Just sayin.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#39  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 21, 2019 9:17 am

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-48714601

Everyone else helps pay for his mistakes.

And this is apparently about Freedom of Religion. :doh:

Not about Freedom to Keep Your Bigoted Opinions to Yourself.
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Re: Aussie Rugby bans player over homophobic remarks

#40  Postby OlivierK » Jun 21, 2019 11:46 am

On his gofundme page, Folau seeks support from those who "believe in the right of employees to peacefully express their religious beliefs without fear of termination or punishment".

So that wouldn't be him, then. Homophobia isn't peaceful, it's a direct cause of discrimination and higher levels of violent victimisation. Folau knows that his words have effects - if he didn't think that, he wouldn't be evangelising. But while he may be aiming for LGBT folk to mend ways that don't need mending, he totally neglects the effects that words like his have historically had in emboldening bigots to believe that God is on their side.

He wouldn't keep his job if he used his social media to support bigots like the KKK, and frankly his judgemental fundamentalist sect is little better. High time shit like his was treated with the contempt it deserves.
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