@barbarian said in Aussie Rugby in general:
@virgil said in Aussie Rugby in general:
Or they just keep their out of touch opinions to themselves?
Given the number of Polynesian players in Aussie rugby (and Kiwi rugby for that matter), I think you'd be surprised how many people agree with Izzy. He's had some support from current players on social media.
It's a real risk for the ARU, because if they are perceived to be anti-Christian then there could be big consequences for the retention of Islander players at all levels.
As Nick would know, while they can sometimes be hard to deal with (organisationally) you can't deny how important those communities are to the grassroots of the game.
That's assuming they all belong to the same church, read the same version of the bible, have had the same upbringing and, therefore, believe in the same interpretation of the scriptures. This quote is from Digby Ioane (published in the Daily Telegraph), who doesn't agree with Folau:
I don't care what people say, the God i grew up with loves everyone, no matter who you are. He made you the way you are with one mission only: LOVE. Don't let anyone tell you you are not worth it, believe me, you are worth [it] to God.
What bothers me most about Folau's public expressions is not the content of them (although I strongly disagree with him), but the impact they may have on young gay - particularly, Polynesion - persons, who are still struggling with their sexuality. Whatever you think of MP Louisa Wall, I think she hits the nail on the head here:
Speaking to 1 NEWS today, Wall made it clear that Folau's comments should not be taken lightly, adding that they are dangerous given the fullback's stature within Australian sport.
"He doesn't really realise that what he's said literally means to a gay person that there's something wrong with you, and you should suffer for the rest of your life unless you repent," she said.
"He needs to reflect on his role as a public figure, and what he says and how it influences, particularly young people.
"I'm sure he'd be distressed to know his comments can kill, and they kill because young people feel despair because (they feel) there's something wrong with them, and they should take their own lives.
Also, I don't think his homophobic tweets/article qualifies as hate speech, and he legally has the right to say them (unless his contract says otherwise), but he may need to be reminded that sometimes it's better not to say things publically because they may actually harm others (vulnerable people who look up to him and believe what he says as the truth). I wonder whether such things are discussed when new players get media training?
What Folau thinks should really be of no consequence to a gay person. If we are saying that gay people are too fragile to hear ideas that don't fit their own world view then gay people are in a lot of trouble. But I don't think that is really the case - if there is a young gay person that is driven to suicide because Folau thinks they need to repent then I'd say they have some much deeper mental health issues.