When Australian rugby star Israel Folau spoke up last month in a since-deleted Instagram comment about his views that gay people end up in hell unless they “repent their sins and turn to God”, folks were understandably upset.
Among those were fellow athletes who’ve been actively trying to combat the homophobia that’s long been associated with professional sports.
Related: Rugby star addresses explicit photos of him with his brother: “We are very close”
But despite Folau’s comments clearly being at odds with Rugby Australia’s inclusion policy, the institution did not impose a sanction on him.
And that’s got allies even more vocal.
Simon Dunn, the openly gay bobsledder, decided a photo would be worth a thousand words and shared a “victory kiss” with his partner Felix while dressed in rugby gear. They both play on London’s queer-inclusive Kings Cross Steelers.
Victory kiss. pic.twitter.com/REvhoUN2bX
— Simon Dunn (@BySimonDunn) April 22, 2018
Dunn took it a step further by re-sharing the photo and tagging Israel in the caption.
RT for @IzzyFolau https://t.co/PAhFg9aL2b
— Simon Dunn (@BySimonDunn) April 23, 2018
In an interview with Gay Times about Israel’s comments, Dunn said: “Unfortunately the sporting world is still a place where kissing my partner after our team’s victory is still seen as an act of defiance or rebellion.
Related: Out rugby star Keegan Hirst says he knows tons of gay athletes who are primed to come out
“It’s an environment where someone’s homophobic comments can be defended as ‘just his opinion’ and that truly is worrying.
“I’ve devoted my life to sport, and as an out and proud athlete I’ll continue to do what is natural for me, and hopefully break down stereotypes in the process.”
No sanctions over Folau’s blatantly homophobic outburst? Why is homophobia still so often tolerated while we allow zero tolerance for racism, sexism and anti-semitism?
Are you kidding? The US has an openly racist president who RT’ed anti-Semitic propaganda, tried to justify neo-Nazis and white supremacists marching at a major US university, and who continues to use openly racist discourse (“breeding concept,” etc.) on a regular basis, and the media and most Republicans just shrug. Also, the NFL blackballed a player for peacefully protesting against police brutality against Black and brown unarmed people, yet continues to keep guys who have broken laws, been accused of violence against women, and so on. Folau should have been sanctioned, but the proper target isn’t some general authority, but the Super Rugby League, which could easily have read him the riot act. Why didn’t they? And where are all the other the Aussie rugby players who could speak up and challenge Folau? Why are so few speaking out?
Aires the Ram
@Kangol: A president who doesn’t want jihadists entering our country, a president who only wants to enforce the laws we ALREADY HAVE on the books regarding border control and LEGAL immigration, does not a racist make. Colin Kaepernick is not a hero, he is a hypocrite. Have you taken a look at last seasons empty stadium seats and low television ratings to see how most of the nation really feels about him disparaging our soldiers, past and present, and our police? He doesn’t have a job with the NFL anymore either, now does he? Before you start throwing around names like bigot, nazi, and the like, you better damn well understand that not all people, and certainly not all gay people, agree with your leftist/Marxist/communist agenda/opinions.
Wait wait wait.
So your supposition, Aires the Ram, is that the ratings for the NFL are low because Americans are mad at Colin Kaepernick… even though, as you state, “he doesn’t have a job with the NFL”?
Those are some interesting mental gymnastics. As an NFL-boycotter myself, I’m inclined to think that the lower ratings and viewership is a reflection of America’s general thoughts about the NFL and its various bullshit (Colin-related and otherwise). But that’s just me.
Great! Now, lets get another ad up that tackles homophobia within this “gay community” everyone keeps going on about.
That’s actually good. Sports is the last frontier for us me thinks
My love is my touch; up above, lead with love of my touch– get close to me.
A lovely response. Thank you.
What a yummy picture #RelationshipGoals
Also why do people get mad when some A-hole says we’re going to hell? Its not like the person saying it has guaranteed their spot in the heavenly realm, and we should always point that out.
I can only speak for myself, but folks like that do more than just say mean things. It was because of “well-meaning religious homophobes” that I spent 2 years in reparative therapy and attempted suicide 3 times… because I was told that my salvation (and my status as a christian, both of which were important to me at the time) depended on me changing something about my core humanity. These words literally CAN break us… that’s why I get so mad when I hear folks spout this kind of religious rhetoric.
Thank you for the reply Cylest, I think because I didnt go through what you had to put up with, and also in Muslim culture, its extremely rare for people to say to each other: “you’re going to hell”, I think thats why those words hold no triggers for me, so thank you for reminding me that personal/cultural factors play a big role.
It absolutely does. Even just looking at modern American Christianity, people’s experiences can be very very different depending on where they live and what “Christianity” looks like in their particular area of the country. I’m sure the same is true inside of Islam.
You’re absolutely right, the flavor of Islam that you get is dependent heavily on the “kind” of Islam We’re talking about, and the culture that embodies it.
Since this website doesn’t have a political agenda:
BREAKING: The gay advocacy group PFLAG National has rescinded JOY ANN REID’S allyship award in light of Mediaite‘s report on newly unearthed homophobic posts from the MSNBC pundit’s old blog.
While Reid was slated to accept PFLAG’s Straight for Equality in Media award next month at the organization’s 45th anniversary celebration, the group opted to take back the offer after dozens of blog posts from The Reid Report containing anti-gay material were uncovered by an Internet sleuth.
Is Reid still claiming she didn’t make the posts and they were nefariously added after she had stopped updating it?
When I was in college, we used to say that “it take leather balls to play rugby.” So I find it most ironic that anyone associated with a fetishist sport like rugby would tweet or say anything that is even slightly homophobic. Let’s talk about your leather balls, deary!
This is cute if kinda corny and fetishistic.
While I understand the need to speak out I’m not certain protests and PDA is always the most useful route to go. There’s always gonna be a-holes, and if you’re looking to change the mind of a-holes I’m not sure this will do that. However, it is cute, and both guys are hot.
As a gay man I read what Folau said, had a snigger, and went pin with my life.
The gay community needs to remember being able to say things a lot of the community funds offensive is the main reason homosexuality is no longer criminalized, at least in the West, and all the other advances I’ve seen in my life have been from the right to say what you think.
If you think Folau should lose his job or face sanctions for saying what he thinks, you’re part of the problem
I don’t think he should lose his job, and he does have the right to say what he thinks, but speech has consequences too. He should be sanctioned for homophobia. Flip the issue; if a white or Arab player made a racist remark about Folau’s Tongan/PI heritage, there’d be an uproar, wouldn’t there? The issue isn’t just an individual player being racist or homophobic (or both), it’s that such comments help further the systems and structures of oppression that exist, which result in gay bashings and racist attacks, attempts by politicians to roll back equal rights for LGBTQ people and unequal treatment in various ways, etc.
Oh no..the world is going to fall off it axis because to players kissed…with all the crap going on in the world people are getting so upset over this ?….
Everyone has a right to their opinion.
Go boys go!
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