Izzy ready for the on-field barrage?

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert


270 Have your say

    For all the heat, criticism and abuse hurled Israel Folau’s way, what will become of him when he actually returns from the hamstring injury that’s currently keeping him out of the game?

    Already, prominent opposing players have fired back through the same publicly available social channels. New Zealand scrumhalves Brad Weber and TJ Perenara have chosen their words carefully and pointedly, and made a significant impact.

    It was notable, too, that Folau’s former Wallabies teammate, scrumhalf Nic White, heartily endorsed Weber’s Twitter comment from England.

    And this is where it gets really interesting.

    He would have to know that teammates he has to share a change room with – from both the Wallabies, and especially from the Waratahs right now – are really disappointed with what he’s said.

    Like plenty of people, they would respect his right to an opinion, but it’s likely that at least some of them feel exactly the same way as Weber and Perenara.

    Equally, teammates could be just as devout, but vehemently disagree not only with what Folau said, but also the interpretations of the Christian scriptures that motivated his comments.

    Waratahs teammates Curtis Rona and Michael Hooper have indeed defended his right to free speech, as has Brumbies prop and Wallabies teammate Allan Ala’alatoa. None of them said they agreed with his opinion, however.

    Folau said in his Players Voice column last week, “I don’t expect everyone to believe what I believe. That goes for teammates, friends and even family members, some of whom are gay.”

    But after the criticism he received after speaking out against legalising same-sex marriage last year, he would have to be aware the impact his words on this topic can have.

    A penny for David Pocock’s thoughts right now? Is Folau ready for that awkward conversation?


    AAP Image/ David Rowland

    How is a Waratahs teammate battling with their sexuality supposed to feel at the moment? It’s one thing to have a teammate tell you’re not packing correctly into scrums, or that the timing of your pass isn’t good enough, but how do react to being told you’re going to Hell?

    But once he gets back to playing, there is going to be a whole new level of scrutiny on him.

    Opposing players and teams will quite likely target him. It’s likely Folau’s words will be thrown back at him. It would be questionable that Folau would be sledged about his religious beliefs – given Jacques Potgieter’s fine and suspension a few seasons back for making homophobic comments – but you couldn’t rule it out at all. Is he ready for that?

    Is he ready for his performance to scrutinised and criticised like never before?

    I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that Folau doesn’t need to do much in a game to generate headlines and highlights and praise that belie his overall performance – the June series in Australia last year is a good example – and for the time being, I’ll be genuinely interested to see if he enjoys that same level of ‘benefit of the doubt’ coverage.

    He has a spectacular highlights reel over his career; that’s not in question. He is undeniably the most recognised player in Australia.

    Is he the most important player for the Wallabies or the Waratahs? I’m not so sure.

    Already, the Tahs look a better team, with more attacking threats and a better and more balanced shape to their attack since Daryl Gibson moved Folau to the right wing and began playing Bryce Hegarty at fullback.

    So, I’ll be really interested to see how Folau does return to the game, and specifically his performance. It doesn’t take much to predict the opening paragraphs if he turns in a sub-standard, or even an average game; “Israel Folau’s off-field troubles seem to have followed him on his return from injury…”

    But the thing is, Folau has brought this all upon himself. I respect Folau’s right to express an opinion, but so do I respect Brad Weber’s. And just as I’m entitled to point out where he bombed a try by not offloading to an unmarked player, or why opposition sides exposed his back-field positioning.

    Folau has invited this scrutiny upon himself, but is he ready for what it might reveal about his game?

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (270)

    • April 20th 2018 @ 8:48am
      Rugby Tragic Too said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      for crying out loud

      change the record!

      • April 20th 2018 @ 9:16am
        taylorman said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        Bretts pointing out that this needs to be dealt with still or it will only get worse. Many of us said that from day one.

        You were the primary defender of Folau initially here so you can hardly expect everyone to start sticking their heads in the sand now that its clearly escalated, and that has occurred purely from Folau’s lack of attention to a simple solution, not getting the impact of his comments. Forget the biblical stuff, he used the words and thats all anyones hearing.

        Something needs to happen, and that needs to come from Folau. There is NO other recourse for this.

        Its true its become a mountain out of a molehill, but his failure to retract the words is fast becoming an unnecessary hard lesson in the phenomenon that is social media.

        Nobody wants this, but that doesnt mean it doesnt need fixing, and the solutions have long been there since day one.

        He ‘could’ take a leaf out of Michael Jones comments who has a better take on what being Christian in todays world is really about…love, humility and grace.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 9:31am
          Fionn said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          I think Folau has said his bit, and has been honest.

          I don’t see anything changing from his point of view.

          • April 20th 2018 @ 10:21am
            Taylorman said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

            Then that could be an issue of some sort, as yet undefined…theres a lot of energy out there on this one and it will want to go somewhere…that could be with the man himself in a number of ways, or with ‘someone or something’ else.

            I just think it needs to be pulled in so it can become next weeks fish and chip paper…its unnecessarily big, and telling everyone not to say anything won’t do it.

            Just saying…

            • April 20th 2018 @ 11:14am
              Morsie said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

              And lets just forensically pick over everything again, and again, and again, until we can find, or generate something new that can be defined. News makes news. The Roar must be going up for sale as they’re using this to generate as many hits as possible to increase their sale price. The fact that a huge number of those hits is people saying “move on ffs” will not register. Now we have Brett seemingly trying to encourage the crowd to be hostile to Izzy and then we have a whole new story, then Izzy leaves rugby and its a bigger story again. And so on it goes, the press generating news through news. Maybe one day they’ll get into such a tight circle of spin they’ll actually disappear up their own fundamental orifice and we can start all over again.

              • Columnist

                April 20th 2018 @ 11:54am
                Brett McKay said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

                “Now we have Brett seemingly trying to encourage the crowd to be hostile to Izzy…”

                Morsie, come on, THAT’s your takeaway from this?

              • April 20th 2018 @ 4:55pm
                Raumanga said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

                Agreed, I thought this was a serious rugby site not a site for 4 year olds to be whining.

                Folau believes all unbelievers (gays and non gays) go to hell, so what ? That’s his belief.
                Maybe should we ask SBW his thoughts? Why bother, what he believes at is irrelevant so long as it doesn’t affect others.

                Change the record, grow up

              • April 21st 2018 @ 6:45pm
                High Tackle said | April 21st 2018 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

                That’s just it, it does have impact on others.

                If you think Folau saying homoseuality is a sin and those who do it are headed for he’ll has no impact on anyone then you are simply wrong.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 7:15pm
                In Brief said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

                I do take issue with your rhetorical question on how Izzy’s comments would impact a young man coming out of the closet. To be frank any young man who is unaware that homosexuality is not condoned in the Bible needs an education. As a 14 year old I recognised that I would go to hell for my obsession with girls. I put the good book down and thought ‘not for me’. Surely this is the same response any gay man would have? I don’t feel victimised or scapegoated as the Bible was write long before I was born.

              • April 21st 2018 @ 8:38am
                Redsfan1 said | April 21st 2018 @ 8:38am | ! Report

                That’s certainly what it looks like Brett. I hadn’t even thought of other players or the crowd taking it out on Folau until your article.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 2:56pm
                Akari said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                The Roar must be going up for sale as they’re using this to generate as many hits as possible to increase their sale price.

                Maybe, Morsie, but Izzy Folau started it and kept it alive.

                I thought that Izzy innocently chose an independent and not-for-profit media group like PlayersVoice to explain himself. John McDuling’s article, (see https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/103279833/israel-folau-saga-highlights-the-new-ball-game-in-sports-media) may suggest otherwise. It would be interesting to know if Izzy is a shareholder of or is earning money from his contribution to PV.

                Only Izzy can stop it now that Raelene Castle along with the ARU in de Clyne have abdicated their responsibility in resolving this sorry saga on day one.

            • April 20th 2018 @ 11:31am
              Redsfan1 said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              Totally hypocritical of Kiwi rugby players having a go. Didn’t see them come out against their own players with a number of poor treatment of women incidents?

              Oh it’s Australia! Kiwis need to get on their high horse and start the sermon. Please…

              • April 20th 2018 @ 11:43am
                Taylorman said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                The difference there was we didn’t defend them.

                Savea was wrong, what would you like, us to go on and on arguing with no one?

                Smith was an idiot, everyone agreed with that to some degree.

                Don’t buy that Redsfan. If this was a Kiwi, I’d like to think we’d do the same.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 2:01pm
                Redsfan1 said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

                Let’s have a look at it. Israel Folau said one word. Kiwi rugby players have been involved in womanising and in some cases (George Moala and Losi Filipo) physical abuse.

                But I didn’t see any outraged tweets from Perenara or Brad Webber?

              • April 20th 2018 @ 2:40pm
                Taylorman said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

                Did Moala come out saying he wasnt wrong to do what he did? I dont recall him doing that redsfan, do you? And if he had, he wouldnt be playing rugby on any field I know.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 11:43am
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                That’s not what hypocritical means

                sit down

              • April 20th 2018 @ 12:38pm
                Danny said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                You do realise the Nic White the former Brumbies and Wallabies 9 is Australian don’t you Redsfan

              • April 20th 2018 @ 3:15pm
                jimbo81 said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                Well said! It’s totally the small member kiwi syndrome – always bash Australia to make themselves feel better – they were invited to be part of the federation that would become the greatest nation on Earth but declined for moral reasons reasoning that Australia was a nation of convicts! At the time in 1901 the vast majority of Australians were free passage – ie: not convicts. Just shows you that the cross section of kiwi’s: d1ckheads then and that remains unchanged.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 4:51pm
                rebel said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

                What an ironic rant given the situation.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 5:02pm
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                Actually they chose not to join the federation because

                1 – well why would they?


                2 – the federation member’s treatment of the aboriginal people was in contravention of their treaty with the Maori.

                You can rant and rave all you like, but you’re just making yourself look silly

                Well, sillier

              • April 20th 2018 @ 6:52pm
                Peter Kelly said | April 20th 2018 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

                They also decline because the defense force was to be in Aus which at the time was too far away
                Queen Vic wanted all Pacific Islands one nation including Aus and NZ.

            • April 20th 2018 @ 1:13pm
              Fionn said | April 20th 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

              There’s nothing else that can be said. Folau has explained his position, and there is no reason to doubt the honesty of his beliefs.

              I just don’t think that anything can happen aside from the debate becoming more polarised with more other players coming out and giving their view.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 2:44pm
                Taylorman said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

                Geez, really? I do. Left like this things can fester. Big time. Id say watch this space. ‘Something’ will happen. Its just a matter of what, who, where, or when. I think one would be naive to think it wont.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 2:57pm
                Fionn said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                What do you mean ‘something’ will happen?

                Izzy has made his position clear, all that can happen is for other players to make their position clear.

                If Izzy came out at this point and apologised / retracted his statement do you think people would even believe him?

              • April 21st 2018 @ 5:37am
                Taylorman said | April 21st 2018 @ 5:37am | ! Report

                Im saying the energy of thiswill dissipate into something real somewhere, whether its Folau leaving rugby, playing poorly, doing something rash, or simply modifying his comments to diffuse the situation.

                If it doesnt come from him it could come from other players, spectators, such as booing or some internal team conflict or some rash action from some random person.

                If left like this it will very likely fester into something that could still be avoided. The negative energy will want to go somewhere.

              • April 21st 2018 @ 7:23am
                Fionn said | April 21st 2018 @ 7:23am | ! Report

                I totally agree with that.

                The other option is just to double down and take on a siege mentality.

              • April 21st 2018 @ 7:33am
                Taylorman said | April 21st 2018 @ 7:33am | ! Report

                Yeah its a pity. Didnt have to be anything like this. Now Folaus bunkered down, hes dragged his partner into it and itll simmer for a while like a bubbling volcano…

                Anyway, we move on… for nowz

              • April 21st 2018 @ 9:49am
                Fionn said | April 21st 2018 @ 9:49am | ! Report

                Wayne Smith wrote a good article in the Australian today saying: ‘if Folau walks, good riddance’.

                Really surprised to see someone as moderate as Smith who doesn’t jump to emotional opinions has reached this point.

                Could that be indicative of the future? At this point I think it’s probably more likely for him not to be in Australian rugby next year.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 9:35am
          c said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          any person defending Folau is of the same ilk as Folau

          • April 20th 2018 @ 9:40am
            Jacko said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report

            very weak C

          • April 20th 2018 @ 10:56am
            ForceFan said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

            I’d be rapt to be able to play rugby as well as Israel Folau!

            • Roar Guru

              April 20th 2018 @ 11:54am
              Diggercane said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

              But then you would be a back.

              No one wants that.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 12:03pm
                Pete Antick said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                You win! Best post of the day.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 12:57pm
                Canetragic said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:57pm | ! Report


              • April 20th 2018 @ 6:50pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | April 20th 2018 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

                Brilliant Digger just brilliant

          • April 20th 2018 @ 11:18am
            Morsie said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:18am | ! Report


            • April 20th 2018 @ 7:48pm
              c said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:48pm | ! Report

              that is my opinion

          • April 21st 2018 @ 7:34am
            Country boy said | April 21st 2018 @ 7:34am | ! Report

            Yes, I am of the same ilk and proud of it. You believe what you believe. Look forward to your trip sometime.

            • April 21st 2018 @ 12:10pm
              c said | April 21st 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              i am not going to change your beliefs good for you

        • April 20th 2018 @ 10:52am
          Morsie said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          Its escalated because some seem to want to keep it bubbling along, now I feel the crowd is being encourage to respond. FFS, move on. It is becoming tedious and like there’s NOTHING ELSE TO WRITE ABOUT…………

          • April 20th 2018 @ 10:59am
            AndyS said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

            It is kept alive because it is good click bait.

            Interestingly, good or bad, rugby probably can’t remember when it last had this much coverage. Makes me wonder why it is only now some of the players are starting to weigh in…

            • April 20th 2018 @ 11:44am
              Taylorman said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:44am | ! Report

              my take on that…because they sat back…and thought about it.

              …and offered considered, well thought out responses.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 5:49pm
                You know said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

                Whereas previously they just sat back??…..don’t think so.

          • April 21st 2018 @ 8:33am
            Crackerjack said | April 21st 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

            RTT, You whipped yourself into a frenzy all week, twisted and turned everything to suit your argument, attacked some people personally who didn’t agree with you, kept the discussion going in every comment section….and now your over it so we must move on….religious or not , your a shocker!

      • April 20th 2018 @ 9:47am
        Objective said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        +1 RTT. Can someone tamper with a ball, or get Barnaby to have another fling or something…….

        • Roar Guru

          April 20th 2018 @ 10:44am
          Timbo (L) said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          Weak argument, Ball tampering is no different to intentionally entering a ruck from the side. Cheatin’ is Cheatin’

          • April 20th 2018 @ 12:35pm
            Mushi said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

            Not really. If everything was so binary the punishment for everything would be uniform.

            • April 20th 2018 @ 4:45pm
              Winston said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

              Isn’t that what hell is

            • Roar Guru

              April 20th 2018 @ 7:04pm
              Timbo (L) said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

              The effect of ball tampering is going to have a subtle effect.
              There is nothing subtle about an illegally obtained turnover. The punishment should be harsher.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 10:41am
        aussikiwi said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        This subject is like a raging bushfire, just when it seems to be dying out a fresh gust of wind comes along and reignites the embers.

        But you, RTT, have been one of the main pyromaniacs, bit late to turn firefighter now!

      • April 20th 2018 @ 11:19am
        Angus Kennedy said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        I think what Brett is saying is that he will now exert pressure on Israel by being hyper-critical of everything he does. I think a lot of others will do the same. Despite Brett’s claims to the contrary, many already do.
        Pity, the guy is a brilliant rugby player. Why not just accept his opinion and move on? The pressure being heaped upon him is a nasty form of bullying. One where the bullies feel justified because they are so sure they are right.
        I think he will be completely destroyed by this and his many attackers will feel just great about that.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 20th 2018 @ 11:35am
        piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        But RTT… you were up till all hours of the night being wrong on the other article!

        • April 20th 2018 @ 11:45am
          Perthstayer said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:45am | ! Report

          The Force play Fiji on 3rd May. Tickets selling fast, gonna be great crowd.

          Woohooo!!! I’ve managed to get the game mentioned on the Roar!!!

          • Roar Rookie

            April 20th 2018 @ 11:48am
            piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            4th May bro

            • April 20th 2018 @ 12:41pm
              Perthstayer said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

              Arghhh!! – wife told me 3rd!

              • April 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm
                ojp said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                I’ll see you there !

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 7:05pm
                Timbo (L) said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                That is her opinion and under free speech, she is entitled to voice it.

                It is your choice whether or not you listen to it and any ill effects like showing up on the wrong day are your responsibility.
                I will be there too.

      • April 21st 2018 @ 2:28pm
        Joseph said | April 21st 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

        The backlash against Folau is a pack of crap.
        I’m willing to bet that most people on The Roar DO NOT like homosexuality… even hate it. But they are too scared to say because it isn’t politically correct.
        Good on you Israel Folau for having the guts!!

        • Roar Rookie

          April 21st 2018 @ 8:02pm
          lewismarsh said | April 21st 2018 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

          I would be willing to bet that you dont like homosexuality or even hate it and would not be to scared to say so. as for everyone else here who knows. I myself barely care beyond its applications in porn.

    • April 20th 2018 @ 8:51am
      barbz said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      The reds should have a rainbow round at Suncorp for their next game against the Waratahs.

    • April 20th 2018 @ 8:57am
      bigbaz said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      He is only going to be sledged by Australians and Sth Africans cause we know Kiwis don’t sledge , they’ll preach to him.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 11:16pm
        Superba said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

        Sth Africans unlikely to sledge him on this as they are mostly committed Christians.

    • April 20th 2018 @ 9:03am
      Onside said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      Mass hysteria Brett, highlighting not so much concern with what Folau said,
      but rather, the issue of whether or not he should be allowed to say it

      The issue is political correctness in Australia writ large , thought police,and
      a type of fascism dressed up good manners.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 9:46am
        Markus said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        Public expectation that people stop making knowingly hurtful and completely unnecessary statements against a group of people who have been and continue to be targeted and discriminated against = fascism.

        When the only thing a person can say in support of a comment is that it is legal to say it, perhaps that should be cause for reflection on what is being said.

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

          You don’t understand fascism at all. Fascists would kill them, a bit like ISIS really.

          • Roar Guru

            April 20th 2018 @ 2:06pm
            SandBox said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

            The biggest problem with a freedom of speech discussion is black and white thinking (false dichotomy). There is a point where freedom of speech ends, and causing harm starts. IF did not cross into that realm of harm, by reciting his nonsense fairy book. If, for example, he said that it was ok to not give gays a job, or to hurt them in anyway, then he crossed over that line. The other most common and easiest example of where freedom of speech ends is the yelling “fire” in a crowded cinema (or any closed area) where there is no fire.

            He said a dumb thing that’s easily refuted. It should be treated the same as someone saying that the earth is flat. You could add the moon launch being faked, and just about every other conspiracy theory to the list. The only conspiracy theory nonsense that is doing harm is the anti-vaxxer garbage, but that’s another topic

            • Roar Guru

              April 20th 2018 @ 2:20pm
              Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

              But would it be acceptable for somebody who was a high profile employee (partially their value being linked to that very profile) of an organisation that was a huge proponent and supporter of the world being round, of the moon landing being real, to be saying those things?

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 2:29pm
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                Forget it TWAS, no one wants to hear it

                They want to hear you either hate religion or love it, no one seems interested in the facts of the matter.

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 2:34pm
                SandBox said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

                Quite simply TWAS. They are free to say it, and everyone else is free to rebuke and disprove it

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 2:37pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Not if they are representing their employer, and employed to do that very role because of their profile.

                Freedom of speech is a protection from state persecution, not a mechanism for you to act contrary to how your employer asks you to publicly act when they employee you.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 3:28pm
                AndyS said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

                That sounds like good news for the tax cuts for business then. If everyone represents their organisation at all times, even on their own time and as an individual on social media, and they must always support their organisations agenda at all times, then tax cuts must by definition be supported by the vast majority of workers in Australia.

                Anything less and it sounds like businesses are free to take action on the employee. Wouldn’t want to be caught being a member of a union that opposes tax cuts, or complaining that it might mean income tax increases…

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 3:49pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                Not really.

                The vast majority of workers aren’t employed and remunerated to be the public face of their business.

                Israel’s profile is a huge part of his value to Rugby Australia. For 99% of the population, that’s not the case.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 5:30pm
                AndyS said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

                Most employment contracts are quite specific about what you must be at work, but I’ll go out on a limb and bet that if you look at his contract, it probably doesn’t include any clause anywhere that says they own him outright 24/7/365.

                That is basically the trap RA has set for itself. It has decided that they own their players body, soul and mind and are entirely defined by them, and also then seem to believe that being inclusive means that no-one can ever be offended by anything anywhere whatsoever. Had Izzy sent his tweet on a RA account, or said while acting in a Wallabies capacity, or even while seen wearing his gear, then it is absolutely their problem. But as others have observed, the ABs very sensibly didn’t seem to feel defined by Smith or any other player, because they are not. And he was travelling as an AB at the time.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 7:25pm
                In Brief said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

                Are you condoning ‘corporate’ free speech? I think this is very real concern. I don’t believe our jobs should define our opinions.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 3:50pm
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                If everyone represents their organisation at all times, even on their own time and as an individual on social media, and they must always support their organisations agenda at all times,

                Everyone? no

                Wallabies? yes

                Israel Folau? most definitely

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 4:41pm
                SandBox said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

                Having lived and visited many countries that don’t have freedom of speech, it makes me value it far more. Also, I see those countries as having superficial benefits only. In the long run, the lack of freedom of speech holds them back.

                Why are TWAS and Piru so quick to give this up? For employers that wouldn’t bat an eyelid if you were to die working for them. Why should corporations tell anyone what to say, regardless of the money they spend on an individual or an overall sponsorship?

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 4:53pm
                Train Without A Station said | April 20th 2018 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

                Why should they?

                When they rely on sponsors and consumers, they should be able to ensure high profile employees who the public align with them do not make statements to jeopardize this.

                You reckon if Qantas terminated their sponsorship over this Izzy would be saying “Soz Raelene, I’ll play for free this year”

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 8:18pm
                SandBox said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:18pm | ! Report

                TWAS, by that reasoning corporations shouldn’t have to pay a minimum wage, or tax. They shouldn’t have to to do anything that impacts their bottom line. Child labour would be ok

                The question, to me, is how much rights do corporations have over an individual? At what point should governments legislate to stop corporations preventing an individual expressing an opinion? I can’t answer all this, but will agree that if Folau voluntarily signed up to keep his opinion to himself, then that’s what he should do. Like the rest of us in most workplaces do

              • April 20th 2018 @ 11:24pm
                Superba said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:24pm | ! Report

                TWAS he would not have to play for nothing .
                Emirates would step into the breech .
                Unless RA said we cannot accept Emirates sponsorship cos of how gaysare treated in Dubai .
                And of course to be consistent Qantas would refuse to fly to Dubai for similar reasons .
                Fat chance !!

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 5:05pm
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

                Sandbox I can only assume you are being deliberately obtuse here. You seem too intelligent to not understand the point.

                No one has impinged Folau’s freedom of speech

                No one, not even the ARU or Qantas

                If Qantas withdrew their support today and the ARU sacked him, he’d still be free to post anything he liked.

                Stop trying to reframe the discussion as it has nothing to do with freedom of speech, religion or any of the other grand topics everyone wants to introduce.

                He’s employed to do a job
                His comments indicate he may not be capable of doing that job

                That’s it

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 5:28pm
                SandBox said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

                Piru, I’m not privy to the specifics of Folau’s contract. If he voluntarily accepted money to keep quiet in piublic, or on social media, about anything other than what RA approved, then sure he breeched his contract. Otherwise, I stand by his right to say what he wants (within the realms of freedom fo speech), even if it is ignorant. I get the impression you and TWAS believe he has breeched his contract for expressing himself, when he shouldn’t have. Yet you just said he is free to say what he wants. He’s not free if he voluntarily took money to keep quiet, we can agree on that.

                If someone in a team has a stupid idea, the rest of the team would normally shoot it down, rather than kick the player out of the team. Better still, they might give examples of how it’s been tried, and didn’t work. If it hasn’t been tried and seems plausible, then a team might give it a go, and if it does work, gain a competitive advantage for a while. The cross field kick comes to mind, along with the long cut-out pass in the Wally Lewis era. This micro example, applies to countries also. This mechanism only works if people feel free to say what they want, including old and tried dumb ideas. Freedom of speech isn’t perfect, but it does give an advantage over teams/countries who don’t have it

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 5:56pm
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

                I get the impression you and TWAS believe he has breeched his contract for expressing himself, when he shouldn’t have. Yet you just said he is free to say what he wants. He’s not free if he voluntarily took money to keep quiet, we can agree on that.

                I don’t know anything about his contract, I don’t particularly care as it’s irrelevant. No one has disciplined him or taken any action whatsoever as far as I can see.

                Even if his contract said in big black letters not to express himself in public he would be free to breach it – but there would be consequences, one of which might be him losing his job. That’s a decision he is free to make.

                His job is to be the face of Australian rugby and therefore a high level representative of Qantas – Qantas (ie the organisation putting up the money for him to be a highly paid rugby player) have a public position on this issue. They can’t have their public representative contradicting them.

                If he was out there tweeting that Qantas planes are unsafe do you think they’d just ignore it even though it would affect their profits?

                How is this different?

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 5:58pm
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

                If someone in a team has a stupid idea, the rest of the team would normally shoot it down, rather than kick the player out of the team. Better still, they might give examples of how it’s been tried, and didn’t work. If it hasn’t been tried and seems plausible, then a team might give it a go, and if it does work, gain a competitive advantage for a while.

                imagine if he insisted that everyone getting in front of the ball carrier was a great idea – people point out that it’s stupid and they will get penalised.

                He responds with ‘well that’s my belief and you have to respect it’

                What would you say?

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 8:09pm
                SandBox said | April 20th 2018 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

                Piru, replied to both your points, mostly agreeing. Not sure why it was moderated

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 6:41pm
                SandBox said | April 20th 2018 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

                Piru, on your second point. It’s all ideas to me, that some people include fairie tales with their ideas, is their choice, but shouldn’t be treated any differently to any other idea. Realise they don’t see it this way.

                On your first point, ok I see and accept what your saying. Let’s take it a little further. I don’t like that I have to give up my freedom of speech for work. I need to feed a family, so I do it. I don’t necessarily believe in anything strongly enough to care about giving up those freedoms.

                Let’s look at Folau (and I am by no means speaking for him, just a thought experiment). He has strong beliefs. He is also a rugby player. The only contract available to him involves him towing the RA/corporate line. He may have signed voluntarily to keep quiet on anything against RA policy, as it was the only contract available. He may legally have the right to breech this contract, and RA may have the legal right to terminate the contract or withhold payments. If this is the case, it must be difficult for him. He was probably trying to keep his beliefs to himself, but wanted to answer the trolls’ question honestly. Subsequently, he (possibly) felt a need to stand for his beliefs.

                Let’s also look at it from the corporations perspective. They pay good money, and expect performance in return. This performance may include good off-field behaviour. I have no problem with that.

                So when does corporation money over-ride our freedom of speech? When should governments legislate against corporations doing this? I can’t answer this.

                Is Castle handling this minefield well? Id’ say given how tricky it is, that she is doing ok

                This returns us to Brett’s article. This off-field distraction must be affecting IF, and will possibly cause on-field issues

              • Roar Rookie

                April 21st 2018 @ 8:11pm
                lewismarsh said | April 21st 2018 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

                That reporter for the Daily Mail who accidently called a reality show contestant a vapid …., has been fired. Aside from the religious belief angle its a very similer situation.
                Where is the outrage for her freedom of speech being abused, lol

          • April 20th 2018 @ 7:21pm
            In Brief said | April 20th 2018 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

            Unless they were gay facsists as were many nazis. I am also picturing an army of William Burroughs high on amphetamines wielding sawn off shot guns – being gay doesn’t mean being good, inclusive, left wing, or soft.

        • Roar Guru

          April 20th 2018 @ 11:25am
          jeznez said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

          Nice one Markus

      • April 20th 2018 @ 10:47am
        John said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        Agreed – well said.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 11:03am
          cinque said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          I haven’t read much of this, so …
          In future, for slow people like me, please make it clear whom you are agreeing with. I am finding it hard to keep score.

      • Columnist

        April 20th 2018 @ 11:57am
        Brett McKay said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

        is that what you took from the article, Onside?

        • April 20th 2018 @ 1:05pm
          Onside said | April 20th 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

          No Brett, not at all. It was a reaction to the 1000’s of posts on the subject.

          I apologise mate; but hey , I’m up to here with it all.

          And Israel Folau , like Quade Cooper with his ‘toxic ‘ text before him,has
          ruined his career.

          So much for ‘sticks and stones…………

          • April 20th 2018 @ 1:29pm
            Onside said | April 20th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report


    • April 20th 2018 @ 9:04am
      Ben said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      Article 1,459 about Israel Folau in the last two weeks! 😂

      One of the reasons I’m no longer on facebook is because of people fishing for likes. In regards to articles on IF, it’s become no different, with people looking for drama and article reads.

      Where are IF’s teammates that oppose him? Why are they not in the media pleading for grown adults not to take what IF says to heart? Perhaps they lack the courage and conviction that IF has.

      The only thing that has come of this, is a reassurance of the hate that comes out whenever this topic is brought up. With almost all of the hate being thrown at people for simply voicing their opinions that go against the narrative.

      It’s almost embarrassing to see hundreds of grown adults that cannot conceive that another human being has a different opinion to their own.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 10:24am
        Taylorman said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

        Still havent got it yet I see…:-)

      • April 20th 2018 @ 10:30am
        Neil Back said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        “It’s almost embarrassing to see hundreds of grown adults that cannot conceive that another human being has a different opinion to their own.”

        After claiming 1,459 articles about Folau, you still seem to be spectacularly missing the point. I’d doubt many have an issue with the fact he has a different opinion – rather that they disagree with it.

        Free speech should always be encouraged. I’d argue even hate speech, since it’s better to know someone’s real intent so it can be dealt with appropriately. But buyer beware, there are consequences. And if you advocate free speech, you have to advocate the same back. The religious don’t get a pass on that.

        • April 20th 2018 @ 10:57am
          Ben said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          I’m yet to see a single person say anything along the lines of “well that’s your opinion, we’ll have to agree to disagree”…

          “since it’s better to know someone’s real intent” Can you tell me what you think IF’s “real” intent was? Apart from answering a question that was asked of him… 😑

          • Roar Rookie

            April 20th 2018 @ 11:45am
            piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 11:45am | ! Report

            I’m yet to see a single person say anything along the lines of “well that’s your opinion, we’ll have to agree to disagree”…

            I see that everywhere

            perhaps if you opened both eyes…

          • April 20th 2018 @ 12:10pm
            Neil Back said | April 20th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            As piru observes, it’s literally everywhere. To answer your question, Folau already has. He was stating his belief. What’s so confusing here?

            • April 20th 2018 @ 2:47pm
              Ben said | April 20th 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

              I should’ve known you wouldn’t understand. I’m talking about people that disagree with IF.

              It’s funny how almost all of them start off by saying IF is entitled to his view and is entitled to free speech. Then in almost the exact same sentence they say he isn’t entitled to it. They go from virtue signaling to bigots in one sentence.

              • April 20th 2018 @ 3:10pm
                Neil Back said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

                Ben, I doubt you understand you. What chance the rest of us.

              • Roar Guru

                April 20th 2018 @ 3:21pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:21pm | ! Report


                I should’ve known you wouldn’t understand. I’m talking about people that disagree with IF.

                Neil, piru, me and several others disagree with Folau. That should be very clear by now.

                (sorry piru and Neil for talking on your behalf, but I hope you know I am doing it with good intentions)

              • Roar Rookie

                April 20th 2018 @ 3:51pm
                piru said | April 20th 2018 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                Please direct us to these people who have said:

                “IF is entitled to his view and is entitled to free speech. Then in almost the exact same sentence they say he isn’t entitled to it.”

                I suspect you’ve made these people up in your head

    • April 20th 2018 @ 9:06am
      Gewurtz said | April 20th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      A bloody storm in a teacup.

      • April 20th 2018 @ 10:13am
        Cantab said | April 20th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell