Tell your story walking Israel. The NRL doesn’t want your crap

Tim Gore Columnist

By Tim Gore, Tim Gore is a Roar Expert

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    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall.

    “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

    Both of these sentiments are directly relevant to Israel Folau right now.

    The best thing about that whole situation is that it is Rugby Australia’s problem and not in the NRL’s court at all.

    And that’s the way it should remain.

    However, as soon as the code-hopping lad from Minto (that’s in Queensland!) made it clear that he’d walk away from his lucrative Rugby Australia contract if necessary rather than retract his views, there have been plenty of murmurs about him being snapped up by NRL clubs.

    Let me make something perfectly clear to you Israel: The NRL doesn’t want you. Keep walking.

    Firstly, he walked out on league in 2010 for the wads of filthy lucre that the AFL threw at him. While he was far from the worst AFL player I’ve ever seen, I think we can all agree that it was a wasted two years for him and his prodigious talent.

    Israel Folau Waratahs Super Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    Then he decided on rugby union – not league – when he brought the curtain down on his Aussie rules foray.

    The idea – now he is embroiled in a public relations disaster purely of his own making – that NRL CEO Todd Greenberg would be in a lather to ratify any contract for Folau to play NRL is laughable.

    Greenberg is fervently trying to shift the NRL narrative to talking the game up. And right now he has plenty of goodwill and public support for what seems to me like the first time in his reign.

    This year he has already had to contend with the Matt Lodge furore, as well as the mooted Todd Carney comeback.

    I’d suggest that he needs to add an unrepentant, homophobic mercenary to his load right now like he needs to add a large hole to his skull.

    And even if Greenberg did decide to register a Folau contract, you can bet it would have distinct conditions attached to it. Just like you’d expect Lodge’s and Carney’s contracts would have strict conditions about no alcohol, violence or misbehaviour, it’d be a pretty good bet that Folau would be required to keep his homophobic beliefs firmly to himself.

    The very fact that Folau is prepared to walk away from his lucrative rugby contract rather than retract his statement that all homosexuals will go to hell is a very clear indication that he is highly unlikely to cede to any such stipulation.

    And the NRL has come too far in relation to diversity and inclusion to blow it all by recruiting a walking public relations meltdown.

    Israel Folau

    (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

    Of course I’ve heard many voices in the Twittersphere arguing that Folau has done nothing wrong whatsoever.

    The chief lines people are using to defend Israel Folau’s homophobic public stance is that he is:
    a) entitled to his own views
    b) not hurting anyone and that
    c) it’s nothing to do with his job.

    Let’s examine those assertions.

    a) is certainly correct. While, unlike in the United States of America, freedom of speech is not a right guaranteed by law in Australia, we all assume and act like it is. That’s a good thing.

    So yes, Israel can sprout his homophobia publicly. I don’t think he should say such ignorant and hateful things, but he can say them – as long as he’s not inciting vilification or violence of course (and some could argue that he is).

    b) is most certainly not true. Folau’s comments do hurt people. Every time someone comes out and says that homosexuality is wrong, immoral, bad, etc it has the capacity to deeply hurt the mental health of homosexual people. Just consider the words of Welsh Rugby World Cup referee Nigel Owens – who struggled with his homosexuality to the point of attempting suicide in his youth:

    “When you’re in a position of privilege like [Folau is] there comes a responsibility with the way you convey those beliefs…There are young people out there taking their own lives, feeling like I did…And that’s what I wish people would think about and the way they convey their opinions.”

    I myself was vilified, attacked and ostracised during high school for being gay. Ironically the primary antagonist was the big football star/bully in my year who – decades later – came out of the closet himself.

    While part of me would like an apology, the truth is that I’ve already forgiven him. Imagine the pain he was in. However, at the time all I knew were the attacks and vilification. It was horrible. I was resilient enough, arrogant enough and stubborn enough to live through it.

    That I wasn’t actually gay was beside the point. But make no mistake: it was the lowest point in my life and the only time when I’ve considered suicide. If I’d heard Ray Price or Peter Sterling say things like Folau has it wouldn’t have helped.

    c) is absolutely untrue. Folau’s comments directly affect people in his workplace. For a starter Nigel Owens is a leading rugby union referee and Folau has just publicly said that he’s going to hell. Israel has just publicly vilified one of the people who is responsible for managing his workplace.

    That’s just dumb. In the NRL our undisputed best referee – Matt Cecchin – is gay. He’s a superb and brave referee. Possibly the best since Bill Harrigan. He has the total respect and support of the clubs and NRL HQ.

    I don’t know what workplaces the people pushing the ‘it’s nothing to do with his job’ argument operate in, but you can’t be coming into the NRL workplace and disrespect our people and expect it to fly.

    Down in the Canberra the women’s rugby league competition is named after Katrina Fanning who is herself proudly gay. A finer human you won’t meet and I’m proud to have worked for her. But Israel says that the rugby league legend is damned to eternal hellfire.

    How is that nothing to do with his workplace if he came back to the NRL? How do we justify bringing Folau back into the NRL to Katrina?

    Secondly, who on earth is so damn stupid that they make statements like Folau did when the CEO of the Wallabies major sponsor Qantas – Alan Joyce – is openly gay.

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

    Some people are actually slamming Joyce for using his position as Qantas CEO to push what they see as his own agenda.

    What utter rubbish.

    That’s like saying Martin Luther King Jr shouldn’t have used the position afforded to him as a reverend to push the civil rights agenda. It’s like saying Rosa Parks should have gone to the back of the bus because the job she was going to had nothing to do with public protests for equal rights.

    I guarantee you that Qantas is dedicated to diversity and acceptance and has a detailed policy to support their position. It’s only right that Joyce would stand up for those values and demand that organisations they sponsor also reflect those values.

    Does Israel have any idea how hard sponsors like Qantas are to find right now? Does he have any conception that being openly associated with a homophobe may damage their income generation when gay people actively take their business elsewhere? And there are lots of people who are gay and fly places regularly. Do you think Qantas should be fine with Israel jeopardising that chunk of their business?

    And do you think the NRL’s major sponsor, Telstra, wants to be associated with Folau’s views either?

    Do you think they’d be very happy if Folau came to play in the competition they sponsor? I can guarantee you that Telstra is committed to diversity.

    Israel Folau looks on

    (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    NRMA has not had a good time of it in regard to Matt Lodge at the Broncos and it is a lesson that NRL HQ will have learned very well. My bet is that they’ll be loathe to repeat the mistake with Folau.

    So Israel Folau can say whatever he likes. He can choose his principles and stand for them as firmly and stupidly as he wishes.

    However, if he was planning on coming back to the NRL with those publicly stated principles in tow, well he should just keep walking.

    Tim Gore
    Tim Gore

    Tim has been an NRL statistician for ABC Radio Grandstand since 1999, primarily as part of their Canberra coverage. Tim has loved rugby league since Sterlo was a kid with lots of hair but was cursed with having no personal sporting ability whatsoever. He couldn't take a hit in footy, was a third division soccer player making up numbers, plays off 41 in golf and is possibly the world's worst cricketer ever. He has always been good at arguing the point though and he has a great memory of what happened. Follow Tim on Twitter.

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    The Crowd Says (510)

    • April 19th 2018 @ 5:46am
      lesterlike said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:46am | ! Report

      Well said. The NRL has done a lot to be a great positive community for players and fans in the last 10 years.

      Even if he heads for Europe, he’s in for a world of shock in France where strong expression of Religious Belief in the Public Sphere (let alone extremely divisive ones) is more than just frowned upon with their own brand of secularism. He would get booed mercilessly every week if he keeps this up.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 10:37am
        Peter Phelps said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        I find Tim’s comments and attitude towards Isreal more offensive than anything Isreal said.

        Free speech is everything and I would expect a journalist to appreciate that more than anyone.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 10:58am
          Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          Freedom of speech does not come with protection from other exercising their own freedoms in direct response.

          The concept of consequence free speech, which you are really asking for, is intellectually indefensible as communication is inherently designed to have a consequence.

          Tim isn’t arguing for jail time rather that the impact of his voluntarily preferred views be taken into account.

          What you are suggesting is that people should be denied the right to make decisions based on information.

          • April 19th 2018 @ 12:01pm
            Peter Phelps said | April 19th 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

            Not at all.

            I am all in favour of people being able to speak their mind as Tim has done here, that isn’t the problem. The issue I have is in using one person’s use of free speech to vilify another person and attempt to deny that person employment based purely on his exercising of free speech. In so doing, Tim is assuming an authority he does not have and takes a position on behalf of the whole sport which is by no means as one sided as he makes out.

            That is what I object too

            • April 19th 2018 @ 12:12pm
              Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              You’ve just reaffirmed my original thoughts.

              The “denial of employment” is a nonsensical argument.

              You’ve now made it impossible to use any communication in a hiring decision (or for sponsorship I’d call it buying).

              Tim only has “authority” in this context to the extent that others give it to him. So the “authority” either doesn’t exist (if people ignore the article in their decision making) or he does legimately have it (if people give him the authority to influence decisions) either way your point is wrong.

              The vilification bow is a long one.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:17am
          lesterlike said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

          If you think anyone’s free speech has been infringed on in this saga, then you actually have no idea what the phrase even legally means.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 10:15pm
          Dan said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

          So true!!

    • April 19th 2018 @ 5:52am
      BuckyBus said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:52am | ! Report

      Outrageous in 2018 a religious man can’t report what the bible says. If he was a certain other religion we’d all be hiding in a corner too afraid to say anything.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 9:12am
        The Captain said | April 19th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        Oh, bollocks to both points. The Bible is a fantasy written from the prejudices – I hesitate to call them ‘values’, of the time, and contradicts itself in so many places as to be pointlessly inconsistent.
        And then you don’t even have the courage of your own convictions to name the religion you passive-aggressively seek to vilify. So, I’ll call it out and say if a Muslim said the same things he’d be getting pretty much the same response, The fact that you are a moral coward and won’t name the religion says everything about your own values, BuckyBus.

        If you or Izzy were in my team and expressed those views, you’d be spending time in the 2’s.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 12:11pm
          Slane said | April 19th 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          It’s like these people have the memory of a goldfish. There is a Muslim man by the name of Anthony Mundine who has copped plenty of deserved criticism of his outdated views on homosexuality.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 2:18pm
          Peter Forde said | April 19th 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

          Read my response to ‘Con’ – about the Bible – and maybe you will understand that you have no clue…

      • Columnist

        April 19th 2018 @ 9:42am
        Tim Gore said | April 19th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

        He can! He did!
        But in 2018 sponsors can take issue with it.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:44am
          Ben said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:44am | ! Report

          Oh, so you yourself weren’t offended?… Interesting considdring the article you’ve put up here.

          • April 19th 2018 @ 12:13pm
            Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            Um how did you draw that conclusion?

          • Columnist

            April 19th 2018 @ 1:56pm
            Tim Gore said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

            Of course I was offended by it Ben. But I’ll defend his right to speak his mind. I just don’t think the NRL needs this completely unnecessary circus right now.

            • April 19th 2018 @ 5:26pm
              Bargeall said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

              NRL by its own admission thrives on controversy – something to take our mind off penalties within 10 metres of the goalline

      • Roar Guru

        April 19th 2018 @ 9:59am
        Mango Jack said | April 19th 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

        Bucky, you can be certain that if he followed that “certain other religion”, and let’s name it – Islam, then every shock jock in the national, most especially Allan Jones who is now supporting him, would be in a furious lather denouncing him.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:31am
          Crosscoder said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          But not Peter Fitz.After Mundine’s post 9/11 comments

        • April 19th 2018 @ 5:28pm
          Bargeall said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

          Mundine mad the statements unsolicited whereas Folau was answering a question. You guys are playing into one nations hands..

    • April 19th 2018 @ 5:54am
      farqueue said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:54am | ! Report

      It amazes me that in 2018 people are basing their life’s beliefs on something written by who knows over 2000 years ago…. do you believe everything what was written on the internet this week….of course not…that would be stupid…..all these religious people who believe in heaven ….but they don’t want to go there right now do they…I think that shows the real story.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 8:08am
        fadida said | April 19th 2018 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        I agree, it’s astonishing. I also love the way they pick and choose the bits they see as still relevant. Are some of them keeping slaves?

        • April 19th 2018 @ 1:47pm
          Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

          Well given he accepts money to represent companies that believe in “gay rights” he’s punched his own ticket to hell anyway under his belief system

          • April 19th 2018 @ 5:30pm
            Bargeall said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

            Every company believes in gay rights but to show they are inclusive, RU acceopts people who have differring views. He is not going around preaching – he gave an honest anser to a question – if he had lied then he would have been crucified as well

            • April 20th 2018 @ 11:29am
              Mushi said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:29am | ! Report

              And it’s fine to have differing views but you must not have much in the way of conviction if you are happy to take money from people to endorse opposing beliefs.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 9:29am
          Matt said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          Spoken with a very shallow knowledge of what the bible says and is. I’m a pastor and we have lots of people come to do our courses on what Christians believe and why. Once they’ve given it a fair hearing, not everyone converts, but no one thinks that Christian’s views are crazy or inconsistent. If you find it “astonishing” you should find out more. Actually read the bible and I suspect you’ll be surprised. Christianity might seem crazy to you on the surface and that’s probably a failing on our part to communicate clearly what we believe, but there are hundreds of millions of Christians in the world – many of them academics, scientists and Christianity has always stood up well to intelligent critique.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 9:21am
        Joseph said | April 19th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        Go Folau… you have my full support

        • Columnist

          April 19th 2018 @ 9:44am
          Tim Gore said | April 19th 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

          Excellent! Are you able to replace the QANTAS sponsorship?
          Asking for a friend.

          • April 19th 2018 @ 10:26am
            Christo the Daddyo said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            Has the QANTAS sponsorship been lost? Last time I checked it was still in place…

            • April 19th 2018 @ 11:02am
              Beastie said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              For now…

            • April 19th 2018 @ 11:02am
              Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              But I think they’ve communicated that if a similar event happens in the future that will change.

              Which is fair enough, if the people who you are paying to represent your brand don’t represent your brand values then you should walk away.

          • April 19th 2018 @ 1:39pm
            Albo said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

            I’m sure that sponsorship could easily be replaced by Joyce’s good buddies at Emirates !

          • April 19th 2018 @ 1:56pm
            Albo said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

            I’m sure that sponsorship could easily be replaced by the Joyce’s good buddies / business partners at Emirates !

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:43am
          Wayne Turner said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

          Go Folau – Go away that is.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 11:16pm
        Anthony_15 said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

        The Bible was written over 2,000 years ago. But within the past 2-3 years everyone is all of a sudden either gay, vegan or offending by absolutely nothing. People that follow The Bible have more moral fibre than those who choose to mock a religion…

      • April 19th 2018 @ 11:16pm
        Anthony_15 said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

        The Bible was written over 2,000 years ago. But within the past 2-3 years everyone is all of a sudden either gay, vegan or offended by absolutely nothing. People that follow The Bible have more moral fibre than those who choose to mock a religion…

        • April 20th 2018 @ 7:39am
          ken gargett said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:39am | ! Report

          any mocking of religion tends to follow self-righteous nonsense like your ultimate sentence. and there is plenty of it here.
          i have no problem if anyone wants to believe in magic and fairies but using those delusions as a reason to claim moral superiority, especially given the actions of the church over centuries, is absurd. and more recently, not least with the despicable child molesting and the protecting of those involved.
          if that is your moral fibre, leave me out.
          and if you think that this is simply another example of mocking religion, i do apologise. i was going for utter contempt.

    • April 19th 2018 @ 5:54am
      Busty McCracken said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:54am | ! Report

      I work as a lender for a finance institution. If my company found out that I used social media to post a comment like folau did and I had even close to a similar amount of followers he did that all knew where I worked.
      I would be sacked.

      This wouldnt diminish my right to speak freely, it would just mean it didn’t align with the core values of the company i worked for whos reputation i had tarnished. Pretty simple really.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 6:31am
        Ben said | April 19th 2018 @ 6:31am | ! Report

        If they fired you for stating a religious belief on this subject, you could sue the pants off them for discrimination.

        Simply because you sign up to be paid by them, it does not mean you lose your rights because you have a different opinion to your CEO.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:04am
          Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          Good luck, because most financial institutions also have a media policy that you would be in violation of.

          Plus you would then be completely unemployable.

          • April 19th 2018 @ 6:08pm
            Dean said | April 19th 2018 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

            I certainly don’t agree with what Folau said but he should be entitled to state his religious opinion without fear of reprisal or the termination of his employment. If I had a dollar for every statement that offended me i’d be a rich man.

            • April 20th 2018 @ 11:32am
              Mushi said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

              That’s great.

              I believe an employer should be likewise entitled to take steps to ensure that their brand is represented in the way they choose.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 7:17am
        KingCowboy said | April 19th 2018 @ 7:17am | ! Report

        Well we should all be thankful that the Banks are here to defended all that is just and right in the world!

        • Roar Rookie

          April 19th 2018 @ 7:50am
          Bunney said | April 19th 2018 @ 7:50am | ! Report

          Brilliant Cowboy!

          • Columnist

            April 19th 2018 @ 8:00am
            Tim Gore said | April 19th 2018 @ 8:00am | ! Report

            LOLOLOLOLOLOL!
            You get Bustys point though.

            • April 19th 2018 @ 9:15am
              KingCowboy said | April 19th 2018 @ 9:15am | ! Report

              I sure do Mr Gore. This is a topic that is way to hard for me to comment on. I am not smart enough to work this one out. I see both sides of the argument and I have to give you credit for writing an article stating your opinion. You made some good arguments.

              I am more worried about my boys trying to get a win this weekend. Was great news that Coach Green signed on for three more years but we need a win this weekend or we are in real trouble to miss the eight.

              • Columnist

                April 19th 2018 @ 10:01am
                Tim Gore said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

                I hear you. My boys have the really impressive Rabbits this weekend…

              • April 19th 2018 @ 2:29pm
                Worlds Biggest said | April 19th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                Tim as a Bunnies fan, this game is hard to pick. The Raiders have so much talent and they if they turn up, they are tough to beat. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this one go to Golden Point.

                As for Izzy’s predicament, despite the sideshow there will be half a dozen Clubs lining up for him. My hunch is he will sign a one year deal with RA as the World Cup next year is a good carrot. He didn’t have a good World Cup in 2015 hampered by injury. After next year he will be back in the NRL with a possible off season stint in Japanese Rugby.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 8:07am
          Busty McCracken said | April 19th 2018 @ 8:07am | ! Report

          Haha well played mate. Hey I hate corporations as much as anyone but gotta make a coin somehow mate. As Tim says ; im sure you can see the point still.

          • April 19th 2018 @ 9:11am
            KingCowboy said | April 19th 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

            Not a personal shot mate, I own bank shares, so I ain’t one to judge.

            • April 19th 2018 @ 6:00pm
              Busty McCracken said | April 19th 2018 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

              No offence taken mate. Like i said. Well played. Gave me a good laugh

      • April 19th 2018 @ 7:21am
        qwetzen said | April 19th 2018 @ 7:21am | ! Report

        You’re safe. It’s unlikely that any financial institution in Australia has a reputation that could be further tarnished…

      • April 19th 2018 @ 7:34am
        J said | April 19th 2018 @ 7:34am | ! Report

        Yep. I was thinking the same. My organisation (not a bank) would also sack me in those circumstances.

    • April 19th 2018 @ 6:18am
      Ben said | April 19th 2018 @ 6:18am | ! Report

      An article full of self-righterousness and hate right here.

      How sad must you be, that in the face of every governing body you’ve mentioned here saying that you’re wrong with the statements they’ve released, that you still have to try and dredge up hate with an article like this…

      Let it go. IF has no more responsibility for the mental health of gay people than you and I do. While on the flipside, IF has the exact same rights we do. You might find that hard to live with, but it’s only fair.

      You seem to be full of hate. Perhaps you are the one that needs help.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 10:13am
        northerner said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Interesting. You’re calling the author self righteous and bitter and claiming he’s dredging up hate. Seems to me, he’s saying essentially the same things about IF – that Folau is claiming to know “the truth” and that propagating his personal views is causing or endorsing hatred towards gays. Why do you imagine that IF has the right to do these things if the author doesn’t? Why is it the author who needs help, and not IF (and, for that matter, yourself?)

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:48am
          Ben said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          “propagating his personal views is causing or endorsing hatred towards gays”

          Straight up assumptions here. You are trying to say IF committed a criminal offence – hate speech. He clearly hasn’t, considering no criminal charges were laid.

          Although, everything opinion that goes against a perceived “norm” these days is “hate speech”, isn’t it… 😕

          • April 19th 2018 @ 12:17pm
            Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            You make some assumptions your self as the hate leap you introduced is an assumptive leap.

            • April 19th 2018 @ 12:38pm
              Ben said | April 19th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

              That’s a very good assumption, with some substance to it thank you. Have you seen any gay bashings or gay bullying since this started? Of course not. Have you seen a lot of hate towards IF and like minded people? 100%.

              • April 19th 2018 @ 1:38pm
                Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

                Oh so your assumptions are good.

                Even your point is utterly perplexing. Wouldn’t I need to make an assumption on the “bashing” or are you assuming that after ever “bashing” people ask the bashed their sexualising orientation and basher their motivation.

                Your also making assumption on my ability to observe a similar portion of “bashings” versus sports forum comments.

                You’ve also straw manned the “bashing” element as a defining part of the discussion out of nowhere.

              • April 19th 2018 @ 1:56pm
                Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                Couple of auto corrects in there but I don’t want to assume Ben would know that

              • April 19th 2018 @ 2:25pm
                Ben said | April 19th 2018 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                In fact, many would consider my comments to be more fact, than assumption, as the hate whenever this topic is brought up is pretty clear. While what northerner has said IS straight upassumption, without a shred of proof.

              • April 19th 2018 @ 7:50pm
                Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

                Then many would be incorrect

    • April 19th 2018 @ 6:19am
      Rob said | April 19th 2018 @ 6:19am | ! Report

      I’m confused. Israel Folau is to be ostracised from the NRL because he’s man enough to publicly stat his belief. He has been publicly torn to threads and called homophobic, stupid and ignorant.
      Are you not appling a similar reverse bullying by calling Israel a “unrepentant, homophobic mercenary”. 95% of the players in the NRL would be classed as mercenary. We accepted SBW with open arms? The media put Paul Gallen (peptides, punching) and Andrew Johns (drugs) are put on pedestals by the NRL.
      Homosexual people usual laugh at religious based rants. He’s not calling people to violence against homosexuals. He didn’t say he wouldn’t take the field with a homosexual. People should accept Folau as very passionate about his belief’s however silly it makes him look. Watch parliament and you will see lots of the same. That’s accepting diversity IMO.

      Mathew Lodge is not even a comparison in this argument in my opinion.

      • Columnist

        April 19th 2018 @ 10:21am
        Tim Gore said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        He statements make clear he is homophobic
        He unwillingness to retract them make him unrepentant
        His willingness to play three codes show he is an athlete for hire: mercenary.
        These words are used as statements of fact, not of vilification.
        However, I do believe his views are ignorant. I love many gay people. I believe that his sentiments attack them.

        • Roar Guru

          April 19th 2018 @ 10:46am
          BigJ said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

          Althete for hire?? Really Tim?? What’s wrong with that?? If your being paid to play league and the afl offers you more to play with them, wouldn’t you take the offer??? I would, we are all slaves to the almighty dollar and how dare you condemn a man for taking legitimate offers to provide for himself. I’m pretty sure that you would stop writing for the roar if the age or another media outlet came along with more money on the table. Really disappointed in this article

          • Columnist

            April 19th 2018 @ 3:47pm
            Tim Gore said | April 19th 2018 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

            Nothing wrong with being an athlete for hire Big J. But if you want a sporting code to ride with you, to support you through an issue like this you’d want to have been rusted on to their code. If Cam Smith or Thurston or Slater had opened this Pandora’s box they’d be far more likely to receive support.
            Why would you take in a problem when they’ve shown no loyalty to you?
            That’s my point about him being mercenary. A gun for hire doesn’t really have a team.
            I guess there is the prodigal son argument.

            • Roar Guru

              April 19th 2018 @ 5:40pm
              BigJ said | April 19th 2018 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

              As I said before we are all slaves to the almighty dollar and loyalty to anyone or anything is dependent on the position of the decimal point written on the cheque. Plane and simple

        • April 19th 2018 @ 10:55am
          me too said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          So what if he is homophobic? Half the ABC is religiophobic and sprout their hatred constantly. Seriously you brain addled hypocrits cannot think through your own ideology of intolerance.
          You third sentence shows you actually hold Folau in contempt for possibly holding other priorities to you – it sounds more like childish envy. It most certainly isn’t a statement of fact – it is your personal opinion of the man. And finally what you believe is just that – your belief – not the truth – which you, like Folau (although no one actually asked you to give an opinion) have shared publicly. So enough with trying to take the higher ground. Who cares if you love many gay people – most of us do. I do not believe his sentiments attack them any more than the teachings of the bible attack my own atheist lifestyle. I’ll join them in hell and not worry what some relgious rugby player might think.

          • Roar Guru

            April 19th 2018 @ 1:06pm
            Mango Jack said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

            That would be the ABC that has a religious show called Compass, right?

            • April 19th 2018 @ 1:37pm
              me too said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              ‘Half’ Mangojack.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 1:11pm
          ken gargett said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

          tim, i agree with you that his views are ignorant. looney tunes stuff.
          but homophobic? possibly or possibly simply reflect his religious views. he may genuinely be hoping he can save them all. he may well want to. i’m not sure he has said enough for us to rule that out. it is easy to interpret his words as homophobic (and they may well be) but he may really want to save them and be of the belief that if he or someone does not, then it is off to the BBQ.
          unrepentant? sure, but what person with strong religious views isn’t. as i have said elsewhere, i just do not understand religion and how it takes hold on people. but it does. but then, if people want imaginary friends, up to them.
          mercenary? probably a bit harsh. perhaps he wanted to test himself in various codes to see how good he was. or perhaps, as this is his business, he simply took the best offer for his services. same as 99% of sportsmen do (or at the very least, a high percentage). same as 99% of us do in our work. he simply happens to be so talented that he could have played/did play in several different sports. not many can. look at someone like ponga. hardly seems to be a sport that did not chase him. not many have that talent.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 10:51pm
          Chris Love said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

          Um no Tim on the first one. Homophobic? Quick slur to be trotted out these days. Similar to any criticism of Israel’s war crimes being labeled anti-Semitic. Definition of Homophobia: having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people.

          Everyone needs to take a chill pill. The bloke was asked a very simple and straight forward question. “What is God’s Plan for gay people”. He wasn’t asked “what was his plan” he wasn’t asked “what do you think should happen to gay’s” he was simply asked what he believed is God’s plan. You don’t have to be deeply Christian to understand that going by the teachings of almost every religion that believes in “God” either Jewish/Christian or Muslim “god’s” plan is hell unless they repent.

          I could understand all this false outrage and virtue signalling if Israel Falou was stating things like “all gay’s deserve to burn for eternity”. But what he’s said falls far from that straw man.

          Nothing he has said showed or demonstrated him having a dislike for Homosexual people. He hasn’t shown any prejudice in his words or actions against homosexual people. He’s certainly pointed out that someone/thing else does though “god”!

          And your comment” However, if he was planning on coming back to the NRL with those publicly stated principles in tow, well he should just keep walking.“

          You’ve just made a statement there that ostracises the beliefs of half the NRL. Almost all of the Polynesian players are devout christians. Happy to have them keep walking too?

          I personally do not agree with Izzy. I personally find it a little silly to take as fact things from any book that’s allegedly more than 2000 years old with so many things that are knowingly false in it. But I certainly don’t think he needs to be punished for stating what he was taught as a child is the plan of god.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 10:30am
        GoGWS said | April 19th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        Mate ‘reverse bullying’ is a bit rich… all that’s happened here is Folau justifiably and predictably getting flack for is Twitter comments about his belief in a thuggish and cruel god who throws gays into a lake of fire for an eternity all for the shocking crime of simply being themselves.. if Folau wants to believe in, honour, and proclaim allegiance to such a petty god then he shouldn’t be too put out by the flack that will surely comes his way…

        if you’re a neo-nazi then you can expect to cop flack, and likewise if you’re a narrow-minded Christian robot which a penchant for using Twitter to virtue signal then you’re just going to have face the reality that you’ll cop some flack where your views clash with widely held modern values (e.g. that homosexuality is OK, and homosexuals should be left alone to love their lives in peace without being warned about eternal damnation)…

        Nobody is expecting Folau to change his beliefs or even that he’ll stay off Twitter ..but at the same time he must know that his is a minority opinion (narrow path to heaven and all) so he should just suck it up when the inevitable criticism comes. Just grin and suck it up. The neo-nazis still march, and the Christian robots like Folau still fill the Twitterverse with their nonsense and fairytales about god and Hell. There are certain constants that won’t change.

        • Roar Guru

          April 19th 2018 @ 11:03am
          The Barry said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          Brilliant!

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:36am
          Crosscoder said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

          Pity the atheist robotic population in North Korea under their god Kim Jon Un,can’t express their individual views whether you believe them or not.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 8:03pm
          Rob said | April 19th 2018 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

          From what I understand in your comments you have little religious belief (“narrow minded Christian robots, with their nonsense and fairytales about God and Hell”). Why are you concerned about Folau’s comments if he’s talking about something imaginary. I’m a Christian with a very religious up bringing and I voted “YES” some of my friends and family voted YES and some voted “NO”. They’re entitled to an opinion and still welcome to Christmas dinner. I appreciate you wouldn’t celebrate Christmas ?
          Homophobic is the fear of Gay people. I’m not sure Israel is in fear of Gay people and i’m pretty sure Gay people aren’t in fear of his Gods fairytale Hell.
          Tim doesn’t want Israel to play NRL because he made a stupid twit comment. I think there are plenty of players with a far less moral compass than Folau. Come back and play the greatest game of all i say. I’m sure Matt Cecchin would love to put Israel in the SIN BIN.

          • April 21st 2018 @ 7:15am
            GoGWS said | April 21st 2018 @ 7:15am | ! Report

            I didn’t use the word homophobic- I hate that word for the reason you explained. It’s lazily overused and misapplied. Very few people are homophobic. I call people like Folau anti-gay…and he’s anti-gay because he doesn’t respect that homosexuality is OK, and that homosexuals have nothing to be sorry for with respect to their lifestyle. Folau believes gays are commiting sins for which their is a rather disproportionate punishment of eternal agony in a lake of fire.

            The point is that we (the public) have every right to crticise silly ideas. The bible has been used, and is still used, to justify all sorts of nonsense….if Folau or anyone else bring those silly ideas to the public arena hey can’t expect us all to nod and talk in hushed tones because they preface their stupidity with “it’s my faith” or “God will”… sorry, unless God shows up to tell me directly then I call BS. I’m not taking Izzy’s word for it..

        • April 19th 2018 @ 8:05pm
          Rob said | April 19th 2018 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

          From what I understand in your comments you have little religious belief (“narrow minded Christian robots, with their nonsense and fairytales about God and Hell”). Why are you concerned about Folau’s comments if he’s talking about something imaginary.
          I’m a Christian with a very religious up bringing and I voted “YES” some of my friends and family voted YES and some voted “NO”. They’re entitled to an opinion and still welcome to Christmas dinner. I appreciate you wouldn’t celebrate Christmas ?
          Homophobic is the fear of Gay people. I’m not sure Israel is in fear of Gay people and i’m pretty sure Gay people aren’t in fear of his Gods fairytale Hell.
          Tim doesn’t want Israel to play NRL because he made a stupid twit comment. I think there are plenty of players with a far less moral compass than Folau. Come back and play the greatest game of all i say. I’m sure Matt Cecchin would love to put Israel in the SIN BIN.

        • April 19th 2018 @ 11:04pm
          Chris Love said | April 19th 2018 @ 11:04pm | ! Report

          Criticism and telling potential employers not to hire him, or current ones to fire him are vastly different things.

      • April 19th 2018 @ 1:58pm
        Mushi said | April 19th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

        If he’s “man enough” why does he take money from people who have beliefs fundamentally incongruous to his?

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