Raelene Castle making all the right calls

Ben Roar Guru

By Ben, Ben is a Roar Guru

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119 Have your say

    Never has there been more disdain in Australian sporting theatre than there is right now.

    Forget the Anthony Mundine outbursts or the ball tampering saga, Israel Folau is the new man people seemingly love to hate. But where did it all seemingly go wrong?

    Is Folau the problem here, or is the problem our seemingly fickle 2017 society, a society that seems to change the definitions of words to suit the flavour of the month, or year, or whatever. Let’s have a look back to try and nut this out.

    Like the society we now seem to live in, it hasn’t always been like this for Folau. Born in Minto, New South Wales to Tongan parents, from the moment Folau made his debut for the Melbourne Storm in Round 1 of the 2007 NRL season as a spritely 17-year-old, it appeared that he was always destined for greatness.

    He could run, step and jump better than any 17-year-old I’ve ever seen. He was freakish. Aside from an ageing body, not much of this has changed other than the identity of his employer. Folau is now Rugby AU’s highest profile player, rather than plying his trade in rugby league.

    Originally of Mormon faith, Folau admittedly lost his way when he went to play for GWS in the AFL, doing all the usual things that silly young men do – drinking, womanising, living on the edge etc.

    Folau needed help, and he found the help he needed. It wasn’t more money. It wasn’t a new house or new car. It was religion, becoming a member of the ‘Assemblies of God’, which is of the Christian faith.

    He had found love again. He had found a way to better himself. He had also found a way to better the people around him.

    Until the 2017 same-sex marriage plebiscite, in which he was in the ‘no’ camp due to his religious beliefs, Folau fitted the profile that almost every little boy and girl wanted to be when they grow up.

    Strong, successful, non-drinker, non-smoker, polite, almost the most morally perfect human being.

    The tide has sadly turned against Folau. This is certainly not a reflection of the person Folau is, but a reflection of where we are going as a society.

    This is where I get to Raelene Castle, the most courageous CEO in Australian sport. How many times have we heard the general public, celebrities and media pushing an agenda, an agenda that almost always says “we believe in freedom of religion and speech, until someone says something that is the opposite to our own opinion”.

    I have read and heard words to that effect no less than 200 times in the last 8-9 months. It obviously very confusing to some.

    The problem is becoming quite clear, that there are media organisations – often followed by a pack of sheepish people – rewriting the definitions of words to suit their often one-eyed, virtue signaling agendas.

    There was once a time, not that long ago, where the word ‘inclusiveness’ actually meant inclusiveness of everyone. Ask any fair-minded person of their definition of the word, and I’m sure they will say the same.

    Israel Folau

    Israel Folau (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

    There was no metaphoric book of ‘things you can and can’t say’, and if people didn’t like your opinion, they just called you a dat#k head, and walked off. There were no friendships broken.

    When it rains, it pours, yes. This doesn’t mean a little ray of sunshine doesn’t pop through the clouds every now and then.

    Raelene Castle is that ray of sunshine. You see Castle understands full well what the word inclusiveness means, she also knows what it means to be a person of conviction and courage.

    Castle could’ve jumped on the hypocrite bandwagon and attacked Folau, causing her even more heartache when the inevitable happens – Folau taking court action. But she is not just wiser than that, she’s clearly better and she is made of sterner stuff.

    I will never forget the day Castle released a statement from the Rugby AU saying the there would be no action taken against Folau for his April Instagram comments. I wish there were more CEOs in Australian sport like her.

    Castle showed that day that she would stand by her own convictions, this is her show. Castle displayed an often forgotten value of human history, that being ‘resilience’, a value she continues to push.

    She stood up for what she believed in, rather than an awful narrative pushed by the often morally corrupt. She showed us that we are all equal in regards to our freedom of speech and religion, not just a select few of us that lack the value I have stated here.

    Here’s hoping that Castle is one day put in the spotlight for things she has said and done, the right things, rather than the things she hasn’t said and done.

    All power to Raelene Castle, I am certainly a fan.

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    The Crowd Says (119)

    • May 12th 2018 @ 7:15am
      GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      Let’s all tolerate intolerance shall we. I reckon Raelene Catsle is in a very difficult position but in this case she can act without jumping on the “hypocrit bandwagon” by just telling to Folau that his tweets are in breach of the codes approach to inclusion, and that he is to stop or pack his bags. Simple. Sometimes religious people need to hear this sort of message when they won’t shut up.

      Nobody is telling Folau that he can not continue to believe these poisonous ideas, and to discuss them in his own circles, but as a contracted Rugby Union player he shouldn’t be filling the Twitterverse with these harmful messages.

      I wonder what the next ‘tip for living’ we’ll be getting next from Folau. Waiting with baited breath.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 8:43am
        Peter said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        Sometimes people who are not overtly religious need to be told to stop or pack their bags. Works both ways. There are plenty of non-religious non-inclusive prejudiced people in the world. For instance, people who say that Israel Folau should not be allowed to “fill the Twitterverse” with his views. Censorship much?

        • May 12th 2018 @ 8:54am
          Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:54am | ! Report

          Hey Peter,

          Even worse some people dishonestly misconstrue anothers words just to be able to try some kind of strawman attack.

          • May 12th 2018 @ 8:54pm
            Peter said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

            “Dishonestly”? Really? Which bit of “he shouldn’t be filling the Twitterverse with these harmful messages” did I misconstrue?

            • May 13th 2018 @ 9:57am
              Ruckin Oaf said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

              Hey Peter

              Maybe the bit that said ” as a contracted Rugby Union player……….”

              Which makes a huge difference to the context of the statement.

              I guess you could be careless rather than dishonest but it’s a big miss.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 9:31am
        Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        “by just telling to Folau that his tweets are in breach of the codes approach to inclusion, and that he is to stop or pack his bags. Simple”

        Some people Itell ya. 😑 You just don’t get it, do you? I’ll make it as simple as I can so perhaps you’ll understand. If you want me to slow it down even more, please let me know. Ok, ISRAEL FALOU… DIDN’T… BREACH… ANY… POLICY… BECAUSE… THE… SAME… POLICY… INCLUDES… HIM!

        • May 12th 2018 @ 10:53am
          Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

          Ben by that “logic” a rugby player should be able to make racist comments, ’cause after all were all members of some race. Or sexits comments – ’cause we’re all members of one sex or the other.

          Might as well toss the policy out.

          • May 12th 2018 @ 2:15pm
            Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            One of your more pathetic arguments. Please state at what point Israel Falou has insited hate, or discriminated against gays?

            You are comparing apples with oranges.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 3:08pm
              Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

              Hey Ben,

              He has publicly stated his belief that gay people should not be allowed to marry.

              This is discrimination.

              Do you really need this explained or are you just trolling out of habit ?

              • May 12th 2018 @ 6:29pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

                That’s his personal belief. There’s nothing illegal about that opinion. The law says gays can now marry, so his opinion doesn’t matter.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 8:06pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

                Hey Ben,

                Yes it’s his opinion. His opinion is that people should be treated differently from others on the basis of their sexuality.

                This is discrimination. Its practically the definition of discrimination.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 8:29pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

                Are we still classed as people when we go to “heaven”? 😂Your argument here is the worst I’ve seen yet! 😑

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:41am
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

                Hey Ben,

                The context was same sex marriage, not entry into heaven. Classification of people as people or not upon entry into heaven is not in any way relevant to a discussion on marriage.

                It’s possible that the standard of my argument is an issue however we must also consider that perhaps your comprehension skills / memory / inability to follow a conversation is indeed the more pressing issue.

        • May 12th 2018 @ 11:58am
          GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          Yes thanks Ben for that clarification. And if I can return the favour allow me to make this very simple for you – you can’t just undo an inclusion policy by seeking to smuggle in prejudices that are included you’re own religious doctrine. You can’t simply point to a religious book and claim that this is an alternate warrant for prejudice. Essentially what you’re saying is that despite homosexuality being accepted by Rugby, the legal and most of society we’re going to carve out a little pocket where players otherwise bound by the code can diseminate messages in direct contradiction of the code. What are we going to have next – anti-semetic tweets? Masoginist tweets? Racists tweets? Can all of these sort is tweets also be smuggled under the cover of ‘religious belief’ – on you reading they can.

          Someone is getting it I agree. Somebody isn’t understanding which way is up. You’ve really confused yourself here. We shouldn’t be tolerating this sort of garbage from a public figure. Folau is now receiving exactly the sort of flack he receiving, from inside the rugby community and more broadly.

          • May 14th 2018 @ 9:47pm
            MarkfromCroydon said | May 14th 2018 @ 9:47pm | ! Report

            Please learn to spell the words you are using. It makes a mockery of your argument if you can’t even spell the words correctly.

        • May 12th 2018 @ 12:23pm
          GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

          Ben the policy presumably doesn’t provided for self-determined exclusions to inclusion policy based on exclusionary religious belief. Either the policy provides for inclusion for all people or it doesn’t. An inclusion policy that does provide for carve outs, as you seem to think it does, isn’t much of a policy.

          Players that subscribe to religions that teach various levels of exclusionary or discriminatary doctrines (based on sexually, gender, race) can maintain their beliefs privately, and discuss them privately, AND at the same time comply with rugby’s inclusion code. Both can be done easily. As has been commented elsewhere, if Folau can keep these type of conversations for the backyard BBQ not Twitter then he’d be fine.

          • Roar Guru

            May 12th 2018 @ 1:00pm
            Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

            I kind of don’t agree with your conclusion.

            I am against discrimination.
            Christianity doesn’t exclude anyone, salvation is available to all.

            But even if some people do subscribe to beliefs that are exclusionary, they have the same right to free speech as everyone else. So long as it’s legal etc.

            We are a soft headed generation if we think that robust debate is fundamentally unhealthy and/or that the only answer is to start shutting down free speech if anybody feels bad about it.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 1:29pm
              GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

              Salvation available to all…to all who believe what we believe. Believe or else. Yeah that doesn’t sound too exclusionary at all does it.

              The whole intent of an inclusion policy is to provide for the bringing together of people of diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, gender and sexuality – and in coming together we agree to leave things that could otherwise divide us (eg. rhetoric about sinning and Hell) at the door.

              If we’re going to be hearing about players thoughts on homosexuality perhaps we can also hear from players who think that women these day dress far too immodestly and should be covering up. Or players who don’t like the mixing of men/women in the crowd. Or perhaps there’s even a place for players to air enthusiasts grudges. Let’s avail ourselves of all these diverse religiously-based opinions…or we could just leave all of his out and get the players to leave their controversial religious beliefs to the private realm. Crazy idea I know.

      • Roar Guru

        May 12th 2018 @ 9:52am
        Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

        people need to hear this sort of message when they won’t shut up

        This is a very intolerant thing to say about anyone.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 12:13pm
        Jameswm said | May 12th 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

        Is Folau not promotion inclusion? Has he in any way suggested gays or other “sinners” not be permitted to play rugby? Or did he go on the cover of a gay magazine promoting gays in rugby?

        • May 12th 2018 @ 12:38pm
          GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

          Yes come and play or watch rugby…and while you’re at it stop being a gay ‘sinner’ or else. What a lovely inclusive message for players and fans. Welcome.

          • Roar Guru

            May 12th 2018 @ 1:00pm
            Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

            For goodness sake, it’s game day. Leave your politics at home.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 1:15pm
              GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

              Are you directing that message to me or Izzy?

              • Roar Guru

                May 12th 2018 @ 1:20pm
                Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

                I have never seen Izzy speak a political word on game day.

                So you.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 1:38pm
                GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

                Good to know he keeps his mind on the job game day and leaves his ‘tips for living’ for his downtime.

    • May 12th 2018 @ 8:06am
      gardog said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      How is it in this brave new world that we are only allowed to have one opinion ?
      I believe that homosexuality is a mental disorder .

      • May 12th 2018 @ 9:43am
        ozzoli said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        That is not true. In this brave new world you are allowed to have more than one opinion, Folau demonstrates that.
        Well, you believe … I rather prefer knowing than believing, and I know that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 10:05am
        lesterlike said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

        What you believe doesn’t mean squat in this case.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 11:44am
        Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        I’m a big believer in science and evolution, so to an extent I agree. But not all mental disorders are bad. I’m perfectly fine with people being gay.

    • May 12th 2018 @ 8:49am
      Xop said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      So GOGWS, if my opinion differs from my employer and I make a statement that my employer doesn’t like on my own private Twitter account, it’s ok for the employer to discriminate against me and fire me?
      So who is the hypocrit here?
      My personal favourite thing about the whole saga is how Qantas threaten to drop sponsorship of wallabies because of folou and his “outrageous views on homosexuals” but they are quite happy to have a business partner in Emirates, where homosexuality is illegal and punished by death. Hmmmm again, who is the hypocrit?
      Why is it so hard for people to just accept everyone else’s opinion. Don’t have to agree with it. Don’t have to like the person. You can think the guy is a jerk, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it as well.
      A balanced response to Izzy is “I respect his right to his beliefs, I don’t believe them and I don’t like what he says.”
      But the moment you start crossing into, he should be punished or sanctioned for his opinion, then you end up being the intolerant discriminating person you claim Izzy is.

      • Roar Guru

        May 12th 2018 @ 9:53am
        Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        Why is it so hard for people to just accept everyone else’s opinion

        Because there is an agenda going on here. Political correctness is not some random accident that just appeared from nowhere.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 10:55am
        Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        People have been fired by their employer for comments made on social media. It happens.

        I’ve worked for a few organisations that make it quite clear you can be sacked for comments on social media.

        It’s really no bit deal.

        • May 12th 2018 @ 11:12am
          Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

          These people have been fire for criticizing their employer, not for stating their religious beliefs. Nice try but. 😉😎

          • May 12th 2018 @ 11:28am
            Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

            Hey Ben,

            Nope. Nice try but.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 11:45am
              Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:45am | ! Report

              If you would like to give me a link demonstrating your point, I’ll happily agree.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 1:11pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

                Hey Ben,

                Bernard Gaynor – dismissed due to comments regarding homosexuality – despite those comments being based on his religious beliefs

                Various dismissals due to comments on social media

                Note quite a few did NOT criticise their employer and were still sacked.

                More examples as per above

                There was also the recent example of the subcontractor sacked due to her posts supporting same sex marriage.

                So can you be fired for making a wide range of comments on social media – YES

                Is religious belief a defence – NO

              • May 12th 2018 @ 2:27pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                😂 Nice try. Have you even read these articles? Please do so. You’ll notice a familiar theme. These people were sacked for either bagging their bosses or sexual harrassment. Both acts a massively different to the IF saga. But again, nice try.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 1:42pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                Heck even the Liberal Party has sacked a candidate due to extreme religious views:


              • May 12th 2018 @ 2:20pm
                Birdy said | May 12th 2018 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

                So does that mean anyone who supports sharia law should not be allowed in.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 4:07pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

                This guy was rightfully sacked. Once again, have you actually read what he said?

              • May 12th 2018 @ 8:12pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

                Hey Ben,

                Your earlier point was that the only people who had been dismissed for social media comments had been a) criticizing their employer and / or b) not stating their religious beliefs.

                Apparently in the history of employment law and social media nobody had been sacked for any other reason.

                Now that I’ve given some examples of people sacked that don’t fall into your earlier criteria you seem to be agreeing with me. Although, no offence, but with you it’s hard to tell sometimes.

                Why don’t you have a good hard think about your position then get back to us when you work out what it is.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 8:33pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

                “Your earlier point was that the only people who had been dismissed for social media comments had been a) criticizing their employer and / or b) not stating their religious beliefs”

                😂 Please show me where I’ve mentioned option ‘b’?

              • May 13th 2018 @ 7:27am
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:27am | ! Report

                These people have been fire for criticizing their employer, not for stating their religious beliefs. Nice try but

                That would have been Ben at May 12th 2018 @ 11:12am |

                Note the second half the of sentence was “not for stating their religious beliefs” .

                Your comment:
                “not for stating their religious beliefs”

                My comment:
                ” not stating their religious beliefs.”

                Did the difference between those two sentences really confuse you that much ?

      • May 12th 2018 @ 11:00am
        i miss the force said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        as CEO he represents shareholders and their investment. it would be negligent of him not to engage with Emirates

        • Roar Guru

          May 12th 2018 @ 11:04am
          Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report


          They are running a business, not a post modernist politically correct police station.

        • May 12th 2018 @ 11:48am
          Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          So you’re suggesting it’s all about control perhaps. If Qantas are making money, gays don’t matter. But if they’re giving money, gays do matter.

          That’s an odd set of values. 😕

          • Roar Guru

            May 12th 2018 @ 11:55am
            PeterK said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

            I also love the posters who want sanctions against folau but are happy to say it is ok to do business with governments who kill gays because money after all is what matters more than principles.

            Or how is it ok for Muslim governments with repressive conditions against women and homosexuals is ok since that is historical and cultural but in our own western society with a history and culture of freedoms including speech it is now not ok to express unpopular opinion and in fact is deemed worse than actions.

          • May 12th 2018 @ 12:17pm
            Jameswm said | May 12th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            Agreed, money over morals loses you any moral high ground.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 12:12pm
        GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

        Twitter isn’t private. And i’m sorry but we have to get away from this ‘you can’t tell me what to do’ approach that seems to dominate everything these days. Smuggling in predjudice and saying this is part of your religious doctrine is just not good enough. RC should just make the call that any tweets that breach the inclusion, no matter their source or supposed religious authority, will not be tolerated. There are limits on free speech that we’re all subject to all the time, and for a contracted rugby player they also include (or should include) statements breach the codes inclusion policy. RC is clearly doing her best in a difficult situation but I think she has erred here.

        • May 12th 2018 @ 1:45pm
          Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

          Wow…just wow! You are a particular type of “special”, aren’t you?

          Can you please try and explain why the CEO of the ARU has come out and said that Falou won’t be santioned for his religious beliefs? Do you think that could be because as a part of the ARU inclusion policy, Falou has just as much right to follow – and preach – his religious beliefs as a person has to be gay? Yes, equality. Yes, inclusion.

          • May 12th 2018 @ 2:03pm
            GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

            I’ve said I don’t agree with RC’s approach and explained why. As I see it RC is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Some interpertations of religious doctrines are inherently devisive and exclusionary, and contrary to the code’s inclusion policy. RC is acknowledging that and basically try to muzzle Folau to the extent that he’s going to continue air poisonous ideas that undermine the code.

            Anyway time will tell. Folau I think could end up being a martyr for this cause which would suit him, and his apologists, just fine.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 4:12pm
              Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

              “and contrary to the code’s inclusion policy”

              The ARU didn’t sign a contract with the bible champ.And again, you just don’t get it… 😑

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:02am
                GoGWS said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:02am | ! Report

                That is a very hard point to respond to… because it makes no sense. Whatsoever.

                By the laughable ‘moderation’ of his latest tweets, Folau has by his own actions conceded that the codes principles of inclusion apply to him and to his proselytising. He is further along that path than you it seems Ben… your position seems to be that players should be free to spew forth whatever bile happens to be part of their personally held religious beliefs.

                All that needs to happen now is for Folau to move from moderating his proselytising to not doing it at all and then we’re done.

          • May 12th 2018 @ 2:15pm
            GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            Also your point is merely an appeal to authority by the way. RC hasn’t sanctioned Folau (yet) but so what? Who cares mate… others within Rugby may well disagree with RC and favour sanctioning Folau for all you know. Appealing to RC’s actions so far doesn’t prove too much one way or another.

            Again, let’s see how this plays out. If Izzy keeps on tweeting to warn us all about the perils of being gay then don’t be too surprised if he’s asked to pack his bags.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 1:49pm
        GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

        Then don’t have an inclusion policy. Ditch the code’s inclusion policy. Either we have a policy and agree to ‘park’ things such as Folau’s rhetoric on hell or we don’t. I’m all for debate and discussing things but surely we can do without boring and divisive hectoring from religious zealots, especially in a sporting community. We’re in a far better place leave this nonsense behind. Maybe Folau would talk about…umm…rugby?

        • May 12th 2018 @ 6:40pm
          Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

          So, ditch the inclusion policy, break Australian workplace and criminal law, lose most of the Pacific Islander players and supporters to rugby league, lose the support of the christian community (which is the most popular religious system on the planet) and only employ people that agree with you… That’s a dictatorship.

          Yeah… sounds reasonable😂🤔

          • May 13th 2018 @ 8:21am
            GoGWS said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:21am | ! Report

            Way to misread or misreprent my position. No fair minded reading of my last post could lead to the tortured interpretation you’ve somehow come to… nothing in your response makes any sense.

            Time to move on from this. I don’t agree with the premise is your article, and your posts are making less and less sense. Diminishing marginal returns. I do think Rugby can be handing his scenario better, and it seems very likely that this will play out in a way that will force RC to act more affirmatively than she’s acted to date.

    • May 12th 2018 @ 8:53am
      Malo said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      Cause rugby is really taking off . Tell me a decision she has done to improve rugby . Zilch

      • May 12th 2018 @ 9:39am
        Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        She hasn’t punished Israel Falou…

    • May 12th 2018 @ 9:42am
      BennO said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      Love to hate Israel? That’s a massive misread of the sentiment. At the absolute harshest, it’s exasperation.

      If Israel is free to speak his mind, then everyone else is free to speak theirs in response. In whichever way they choose. If you think differently then you wish to censor his critics in the same way you claim they wish to censor him.

      If you seek to put a single constraint on how people speak their mind about him then you’re seeking to restrict free speech.

      The amount of wilful misinterpretation here is the only reason this story gets kicked down the road. And frankly, I see it this misinterpretation only occurring from those who seek to defend Israel.

      Everyone can say what they like… Get over it and let it go.

      I don’t hate Israel. I’m thoroughly disappointed in his view of gay people. I’m frustrated by his unwillingness to respect the views of those who pay his bills. I can understand his desire to stick his middle finger up at them for daring to ask him to stop posting his extreme views. I also understand his, no doubt heartfelt, desire to share his view because he thinks he’s serving a greater cause than me. I’d like to help protect the feelings of gay peeps in this life whereas he’d like to do that in the next (if there is one).

      I think that’s the crux of the difference for most. But we all hate him now? No way, you’re completely wrong on that.

      What is true though is that Israel brought this on himself and if he wants free speech, he must respect our right to speak back.

      I wish he’d just get on with playing the game so Raelene could get on with running it.

      Get over it.

      • Roar Guru

        May 12th 2018 @ 10:00am
        Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        Agree that everyone should be allowed their voice.

        But in my opinion, calling for a man to lose his employment over his views crosses a line. Calls that one particular voice must be silenced crosses a line.

        I think it would take the king of spin merchants to construe calls for him to be sacked or censured as seeking his best interests. If it’s not hate it’s certainly banging on the door of very strong dislike.

        Not saying that is your view BennO but such calls have been made on this site.

        • May 12th 2018 @ 10:26am
          BennO said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          Cheers, Ralph.

          Regarding the calls, I can see that there is a case for him to lose his job, given the stuff discussed before (lose sponsorship then lose money etc). And I can see that there are those who make that call from behind the veil of legalese to mask a dim view of him. But to be fair, they have the right to make that call.

          Unless we do start saying we can say what we like but we won’t tolerate intolerance. In which case, using your free speech to call for someone to be silenced is not allowed and using it to condemn vulnerable others to hell might also not be allowed. And then we’re in the cycle of finger pointing again.

          It’s not my view that he should lose his job but I would prefer it if he respected vulnerable people and kept his views to himself. But I don’t expect him too. I expect him to be willing to hear mine and others’ views, which it seems he is.

          And I think that’s the majority view too.

          • Roar Guru

            May 12th 2018 @ 10:46am
            Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            I think the line is between speech and action.

            To voice an opinion is one thing but to make a call/demand/suggestion for action is another, and I think that’s how the law sees it with regard to things like hate speech legislation. The speech must ‘incite’, meaning call to action, to make the legislation applicable.

            Legal – “Witching will be judged in the afterlife.”
            Illegal – “We should burn all the Witches.”

            That’s how I understand it anyway, but I am not a lawyer.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 11:40am
              BennO said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

              Oh yep, fair call.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 1:32pm
              Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

              Hey Ralph,

              I think that if there was a high profile Muslim player who said something like – “The Jews are the scourge of all evil and they deserved their fate in the Holocaust”

              They’d be sacked.

              And nobody would particularly care.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 1:45pm
                BennO said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

                Seriously, that isn’t even close to equivalent.

                Or did the video he posted say gay people are the source of evil and deserve to die?

              • May 12th 2018 @ 2:48pm
                GoGWS said | May 12th 2018 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

                No but he did say that unrepentant gay people will burn for eternity in a lake of fire…you’d have to agree that this is not a particularly cheery message, especially for young gay teenagers out there struggling with their sexuality. It says to them than what they feel/do sexually is ‘sinful’ and wrong, and that eternal firey punishment awaits them.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 4:14pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

                Well if they are religious, it’s irrelevant. If they are, change religion.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 4:56pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 4:56pm | ! Report


              • May 13th 2018 @ 7:34am
                GoGWS said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:34am | ! Report

                Or the players could just.. you know..play rugby..and talk about playing rugby. And leave the proselytising until after their playing careers are done.

                That might be a way to deal with this in the future – just update and revise the player code of conduct to that effect ..we welcome players of all creeds but let’s respect one another and not engage in any proselytism on social media while we’re here…. call it the ‘Folau amendment’ to the players code of conduct. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:16am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

                You stilllll don’t get it!

                Israel Folau is free to preach his religious beliefs on HIS social media accounts. It’s law. IF knows it. RC knows it.

                Let’s started acting like adults and stop being offended by everything.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:58am
                GoGWS said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

                Yes yes… he’s free to keep pumping out bile. Let’s see exactly how that all ends up shall we…and you can re-appear here on this forum on a few months to explain why the code has let him go because he refused to stop his belligerent tweeting… you can pen an article telling us all about this travesty…

                Mate we’re talking here about codes of conduct, principles of inclusion and so on… and a player who just doesn’t get it (much like you just don’t get it). Thankfully most rugby players do actually get it, and have been vocal in telling Folau to pull his head in..

              • May 12th 2018 @ 1:48pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

                …because suggesting that it was ok for Jews to be gased for no reason at all is actually hate speech.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 8:04pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

                Hey Ben,

                But suggesting that gays should be tortured for no reason at all isn’t hate speech.

                Is that how it goes ?

              • May 12th 2018 @ 8:37pm
                Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 8:37pm | ! Report

                Please explain how gays are being “tortured” champ? And if you’re going to say something like “their feelings are hurt”. Please keep in mind that the bible says I’m a “sinner” too, and I’m going to “hell” too.Yet myself, and billions of other people don’t care. So perhaps the mental weakness of people like yourself is the problem here…

              • May 13th 2018 @ 7:44am
                GoGWS said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:44am | ! Report

                Gassing Jews no good….burning gays eternally in a lake of fire OK.

                Look Hell is a very real place to the people that Folau is messaging to… whether it is real to you is totally irrelevant. And the feeling of dread and shame that Folau’s messaging is no doubt eliciting from some is also very real by those ‘mentally weak’ people…

                You do have to chuckle at Folau’s later efforts… With love, here’s a message explaining why you must believe what I believe or else… gee thanks Izzy…. if there is a god somewhere I reckon he face palms every time big Izzy reaches for the phone to fire off another pearl of wisdom.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:19am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

                Are all gays christians? And if they are, why don’t they change religions?

                Oh, and please quote where IF said we all must believe what he believes? That’s your stance, not his.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 7:23am
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:23am | ! Report

                Hey Ben,

                Hell now is that a nice place or not ?

                Work it out, take your time and then get back to us.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 11:01am
        i miss the force said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        well said Benno. the author has a complex

    • Roar Guru

      May 12th 2018 @ 9:51am
      PeterK said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:51am | ! Report

      Good article Ben.

      I only disagree with 1 part.

      If Castle had taken action I do not believe Folau would have taken it to court.

      He offered to walk away from his contract if RA felt he was hurting rugby, he put the ball in Castles’ court.

      This is a credit to Folau.

      IMO that makes the stand by Castle even of greater integrity since she is not doing it due to the threat of court action.

      • Roar Guru

        May 12th 2018 @ 10:03am
        Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        What I did not, know walking into this debate, was that RA had taken a particular stand on the same sex marriage debate.

        I think getting involved in politics to begin with was a major mistake, because it’s what really opens the door to the expectation that, if you got involve once then why can’t you do it again.

        If you live by the sword you can die by that same sword.

        • May 12th 2018 @ 11:27am
          Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

          Hey Ralph,

          A number of organisations, including the NRL and AFL came out in support of same sex marriage.

          I would imagine that there is a general view that it assists an organisation to be seen as in step with social issues.

          • Roar Guru

            May 12th 2018 @ 11:34am
            Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

            I am sure they were thinking that. But politics is a pretty unstable place to live and in this case it seems to have come back to bite RA.

            • May 12th 2018 @ 1:14pm
              Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

              Hey Ralph,

              I dunno I would imagine that for most organisations that depend directly on the public as a customer being seen as in step with public opinion would be seen as an advantage.

              Coopers the brewer seem to have faced a far greater backlash for being out of step with the public on same sex marriage than the ARU being inclusive.

              And it doesn’t seem to have impacted negatively on the AFL or NRL at all.

              • Roar Guru

                May 12th 2018 @ 1:24pm
                Ralph said | May 12th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                I think this thing we call public opinion is a notoriously fickle thing that lacks intellectual cohesion.

                They chose to swing the sword and the sword came back on them. Climb on the bandwagon, get a cheap win with no downside. Didn’t work out that way did it.

                In my view, it’s not the place of businesses generally to get involved in politics. Usually when they do it is done in back rooms to reduce the risk. Not saying back room dealing is a good thing, it’s a terrible thing. Just saying it is a thing, and for good reason.

              • May 12th 2018 @ 2:01pm
                Ruckin Oaf said | May 12th 2018 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

                Hey Ralph,

                Polling on SSM has been pretty consistent for quite a few years now and the recent plebiscite seemed to bear that out.

                The ARU chose to be in line with public opinion. Heck that might even be a genuine reflection of the organisations values. As the ARU is pretty much entirely dependent on the general public for revenue it’s probably a pretty good decision to be in line with public opinon.

                As somebody once said “When the wind of change blows build a windmill not a windbreak”

      • May 12th 2018 @ 11:17am
        Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

        Fair call to a point. But there would be a difference between IF choosing to walk, and being sacked.

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