I may have been too hasty...

anoesisanoesis Shipmate
Well, that probably needs some clarification.

To background: Some time ago (possibly on the old ship) I began a ranty thread about my frustrations around the use of the "#nohomo" hashtag on Instagram - arguing that it was abhorrent, and unhelpful, and unnecessary. That it was, and is, completely acceptable, and indeed, normal, for men to compliment each other, build one another up, express pride in each other's achievements, and regard for one another, without needing to specify that there's no subtle limp-wristed-ness underlying their comments. I opined that it was the modern manifestation of a much older gay-panic, and that it needed to disappear, yesterday or sooner.

Then - then, a certain sporting personality, who'll be nobody to much of the world, but is well known in the antipodes, posted the following words yesterday: [literally cut-and-pasted]

jfaulkner44
Birthday dinner with the boyfriend (best mate!!!) @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner ❤️❤️❤️ #togetherfor5years

To say that it generated some interest is a bit of an understatement. I don't follow this guy - instead I read that he had come out, via instagram, on three separate news websites yesterday.

Only, he hasn't.

Because he's not gay.

He's clarified this today with another post, which begins with the words "There seems to be a misunderstanding about my post from last night." Well, excuse us all for misunderstanding! WTF were we supposed to think? Even if you were as drunk as an owl, when you posted that, the mistake's still on your end. If you're going to go to the trouble of appending "#togetherfor5years", when you're talking about your flatmate and business partner, do us all a favour and slap a "#nohomo" on while you're at it, for clarity's sake.

I call bullshit, here. I don't know what these dudes' business involves, because I'm too pissed off to look, and I don't want to add my clicks, but if this isn't a publicity stunt, to generate traffic, masquerading as something else, leveraged to take advantage of the human-interest angle, then I'm a dead pope. Is anything real, anymore?
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Comments

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    But didn't he write Maurice? Oh, no that was EM Forster. Fawkner wrote that brilliant book set in the south where different chapters were in the voice of different characters. That book was so difficult, and so brilliant.

    That had to be deliberate. Maybe he just likes to snuggle with his business partner but you know, 'nothing suss', which was the equivalent to #nohomo in Australia in the '90's. There's even a comedy routine about it. If you want I can go fishing for it on youtube.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Interesting. In the UK context, if a woman referred to her ‘girlfriend’ I wouldn’t assume a romantic/sexual relationship - not even with the hashtag #togetherfor5years. ‘Boyfriend’ does seem different to me - but that could be a generational thing.
  • Why are we so interested in who other people, many of whom are complete strangers we've only vaguely heard of via the media, are sleeping with or want to sleep with or have stopped sleeping with some other person?

    Unless one or both of them are people I care about and want to see happy, or if one of them is someone I am attracted to, I don't care and don't see why I should care.

    And yes, re Brojames comment, it's common for women in the UK to refer to their female friends as girlfriends. It's also common among the younger generation for your best friend to be someone of the opposite sex, whereas it used to be your best friend was always someone of the same sex as you.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I've never heard 'boyfriend' used in a platonic sense, though the 'best mate' in brackets would have made me think he was deciding to use it in the way women use 'girlfriend,' platonically. I wouldn't have seen that as a coming out post - more a joking around using language usually reserved for romantic relationships to refer to one's best mate. Young women do this a lot. Men don't, in my experience. But no reason why they shouldn't. Maybe he was trying to change how things are, to encourage men to use language more fluidly. But if his tweets was ambiguous and so misunderstood, so what? I'm confused why this would lead to anger on the part of someone who doesn't know him.
  • "Mate" doesn't play like that where I live. Your mate is your spouse. "Buddy" is the word to use.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    UK usage would be ‘mate’ for a friend - often male, but not a securely gender specific term. Using mate for a spouse would generally be a bit arch in UK English. ‘Buddy’ unqualified would definitely be seen as trans-Atlantic. (OTOH it’s not uncommon in compounded forms ‘buddy system’, ‘playground buddy’, ‘buddy breathing’ etc.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    "Buddy" or even "bud" is what we would say over here.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    I've never heard 'boyfriend' used in a platonic sense

    Glad to hear that, since I always teach my Korean ESL students that it's common for women, especially older women, to refer to their platonic female friends as their "girlfriends", but that any use of "boyfriend" by a man would be assumed to refer to a same-sex romantic relationship.

    And I'm not actually sure if it's only older women who use "girlfriend" just to mean a female friend, and I usually clarify that as being based on my own personal experience. My mother, born in the mid-1930s, often says it, but off-the-top, I can't think of many women my age(Gen X) or younger who do.

  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Why are we so interested in who other people, many of whom are complete strangers we've only vaguely heard of via the media, are sleeping with or want to sleep with or have stopped sleeping with some other person?

    Unless one or both of them are people I care about and want to see happy, or if one of them is someone I am attracted to, I don't care and don't see why I should care.
    :like:

  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited April 30
    I hear mothers of my children's friends talk about "my one girlfriend" doing something on a regular basis. I've assumed they've intercalated the "one" to flag that the woman in question is one of their girlfriends, and not "their girlfriend", but it might just be a regional habit. It's not something I hear my children's friends use themselves, although every now and then one of the teen boys will talk about "my girl friend - she's not my girlfriend, she's a friend, and a girl" because most of his friends are boys, but he also has a couple of girls who are friends, and she's the source of the female perspective he's about to offer.

    I've heard straight men talk about their "boyfriend" or "wife" to mean their male best friend in a slightly comedic "ha ha we're not gay, but we spend so much time together isn't it funny" sense, but they wouldn't use those descriptors to a stranger.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    stetson wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    I've never heard 'boyfriend' used in a platonic sense

    Glad to hear that, since I always teach my Korean ESL students that it's common for women, especially older women, to refer to their platonic female friends as their "girlfriends", but that any use of "boyfriend" by a man would be assumed to refer to a same-sex romantic relationship.

    And I'm not actually sure if it's only older women who use "girlfriend" just to mean a female friend, and I usually clarify that as being based on my own personal experience. My mother, born in the mid-1930s, often says it, but off-the-top, I can't think of many women my age(Gen X) or younger who do.

    I'm Gen X, and I actually thought it was my generation and younger who use it, but more in North America than the UK. I came across women my age using it when I was in Canada, and I see it online from younger North American women. But I've also come across British women using it and sometimes clarifying, in a kind of humorous way, that they're using it the American way. I've actually never come across anyone older than my generation using it. It seems to be used in a kind of 'girl power' way, where women address each other as 'girlfriend' (as in 'You go, girlfriend!') and also to refer to female friends, as in, 'I'm going to have a movie night with a few girlfriends.'
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    stetson: The use of "girlfriend" for a platonic female friend is widespread across generations here in southern California.

    I don't see why the post discussed in the OP confused anyone - "best mate" is pretty clear. I also don't see why anyone cares. And I hope to God that a little momentary confusion over a minor celebrity's sexual orientation is not an excuse to being back the hideous expression "no homo."
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    The other time you see girlfriend used is drag queens referring to each other.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    I don't see why the post discussed in the OP confused anyone - "best mate" is pretty clear. I also don't see why anyone cares.

    I don't agree with your first sentence at all - plenty of my happily-coupled friends will post something about celebrating with their other half (a birthday or anniversary), describing their other half an several different ways including "best mate / best friend".

    To your second sentence, I agree - but then I also don't understand why "instagram influencers" exist, or why anybody would want to keep up with a Kardashian.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    fineline and Ruth:

    You could both be correct. It might just be that the only woman I can distinctly remember using it is my mother, and I'm just forgeting about the younger women I know who use it.

    Though she always seems to use it quite casually, as if it was something that would be recognizable to her peers. For the record, there doesn't seem to be any sort of feminist or even quasi-feminist undertones when she uses it, more like the "I'm going to have a movie night with my girlfriends" sort of thing in fineline's example.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 30
    Just a correction on the 'best mate': this was an edit after the confusion raised by his initial post. He originally wrote:
    "Birthday dinner with the boyfriend @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner #togetherfor5years" on Twitter and Instagram.

    At least in the Australian circles I move in, 'boyfriend' is used within groups as a humorous way to describe two very close male friends. While taking onboard what Leorning Cniht wrote above on its use that way, if I were following this person and read the 'best mate' in parentheses I would've assumed the 'boyfriend' was not indicative of a same-sex relationship given what I wrote above. But that may be me and my social circles' use of the language, not a wider Australian trend.

    But as above, while I hear women of all ages refer to their girlfriends, in wider social contexts, and I'd assume social media, if I hear boyfriend I assume someone is in a relationship beyond friendship. I may not care, usually don't, but that would be my first reaction.

    [edit: formatting space between paragraphs at 04:50 on the first go is clearly beyond me... coffee!]
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    People do often say their partner is also their best friend, though in this case, to have 'best mate' in brackets, as a clarification aside, rather than an emphasis, like 'and he's also my best friend,' it does seem more like a clarification that it's platonic.

    I do agree it's kind of ambiguous though. But I often find language ambiguous. This OP completely confused me at first, because, firstly, I've never heard of the 'nohomo' hashtag, and so I imagined it was an anti-gay thing, saying that gay peope weren't welcome. And once I figured out what it meant, from context, I then spent some time reading the text in question, analysing it, and coming to the conclusion that it was definitely about a platonic male best mate. So I thought the argument of the OP was going to be that people on Twitter were daft to misread it and assume he was coming out. And I thought the conclusion would be about how daft our culture is to misinterpret descriptions of male friendship unless they are accompanied by a 'nohomo' hashtag. I confess, I'm still a bit confused by the OP - why a celeb's ambiguity about their personal life should cause outrage, and also what the topic of discussion is supposed to be. People are always misinterpreting each other and overreacting en masse on Twitter - the whole platform lends itself to this kind of reactiveness.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Ah, crossposted with Climacus. That makes more sense now - both why people would misinterpret it, and also why 'boyfriend' would be used to describe a best mate.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 30
    fineline wrote: »
    I confess, I'm still a bit confused by the OP - why a celeb's ambiguity about their personal life should cause outrage, and also what the topic of discussion is supposed to be. People are always misinterpreting each other and overreacting en masse on Twitter - the whole platform lends itself to this kind of reactiveness.
    I too was rather confused by the prominence of this story in the media...and the jumping on to the original without any supposed fact checking by the media, including the ABC.

    Not being into sport at all, I can only go on what I read elsewhere and note that openly gay sportspeople are few and far between in Australian society, and someone coming out may help younger people struggling with their sexuality.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Ah yes, I can see how people might therefore be excited at the idea that a sportsperson was coming out as gay, and annoyed if they felt they were being misled.
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    Hi all -

    Well, it looks like I’ve failed to communicate my point adequately, in a post where I was more or less taking to task someone else for doing that very thing. Oh, the irony.

    I’ll try again, but firstly, to clarify a couple of things. @ColinSmith - I’m not, personally, interested in who any minor celebrities are sleeping with, or not sleeping with - it’s other aspects of this debacle that interest me - as I can (hopefully) explain. @Ruth - I wasn’t seriously suggesting a return to #nohomo - I too find it execrable.

    What I was really getting at was contained the last paragraph of my OP. Namely, that while the text (and indeed the photo) of his post could be argued to have been ambivalent, I strongly suspect it was carefully crafted to have this aura of plausible deniability. I mean, given our culture’s backgrounding with all this #nohomo shit, and his ‘minor celebrity’ status, it’s vanishingly unlikely that it never even occurred to James Faulkner that his audience might 'misinterpret' his post. Or that a media blizzard might follow.

    What seems more likely to me is that he made a deliberate decision to post in this fashion, in order to create a brief window of spotlight for both himself and the guy he tagged, (who turns out to be his business partner), for commercial reasons. Free publicity, by accidentally-on-purpose piggybacking an issue which he had to know would generate massive interest.

    A lot of people are castigating him right now, for effectively making a joke of a serious issue, with his thoughtless choice of words, which seems fair enough, if that’s what it was. But I don’t believe it was thoughtless - I think it was deliberate, and it’s the dishonesty that annoys me. To use your personal social media account, and your personal profile, to tease what looks like a personal moment, out to your followers, knowing that coming out will be a personal issue for at least some of them, in pursuit of a commercial goal, is a fucking shitty thing to do. It’s almost a sort of catfishing.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Interesting... Thanks for that view.

    Not saying you are wrong, we may never know, but that would never have crossed my mind. The use of "boyfriend" or "husband" at work or in a friendship group to describe the relationship between two heterosexual guys who seem to spend every moment together is so fixed in my mind that I see it being used and I assume it is meant in a humorous way...unless a rainbow flag or appropriate hashtag is used. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing.
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    Interesting... Thanks for that view.

    Not saying you are wrong, we may never know, but that would never have crossed my mind. The use of "boyfriend" or "husband" at work or in a friendship group to describe the relationship between two heterosexual guys who seem to spend every moment together is so fixed in my mind that I see it being used and I assume it is meant in a humorous way...

    Even with '#togetherfor5years' appended at the end?

    You are right, we will never know. But at least three current or former Australian cricketers, who presumably know him personally, did not think he was using the terms in a humorous way, and offered support and congratulations.

    It could also be that it's a case of something where the meaning would have been obvious, if the communication had been verbal, and it hasn't translated adequately to the written word. These things do happen - but I remain to be convinced.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    anoesis wrote: »
    Even with '#togetherfor5years' appended at the end?
    Yep. I may be a particularly thick example of the male species, and a gay one at that, but even reading that made me smile thinking it humour... The use of "boyfriend", and my experiences of it in heterosexual contexts, overrode all.

    That said, I'm not part of the "gay" community in any meaningful manner nor does it play a large part in my life, so I would defer to others who read it a certain way.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    HE'S AN AUSTRALIAN CRICKETER?????????

    Oh my God. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

    Aussie Fast Bowler video

    You guys have been SO disrespectful.

    Hang on, does he play real cricket, or is he one of those tippedy-run or hit-and-giggle types?

    OK I've googled him. He's basically a hack these days, only plays Big Bash, County Cricket and Sheffield Shield. He played one test, a dead rubber against England in the woeful 2013 series. He made 23 going the tonk under instructions, probably, and took a very nice 4/51, which makes me wonder why he wasn't picked again. Then I saw it. Clark was captain and this guy wasn't from NSW. There was a quota system in place back then that said at least 2/3 of the squad had to be from NSW. My brother told me that and I believe him.

    He played most of his international cricket in the tippedy-run competition.

    I had my head in a bucket of sand for most of the 2013 Ashes series, and was probably rocking myself back and forth and keening by the fifth test, so that's why I hadn't heard of the guy.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    The other thought is that this guy really is gay, and has retracted his coming out statement in response to some of the comments he received. A few really nasty negative statements could easily have outweighed the positive.

    There are very few out gay sportspeople and most of those who are are women. There have been a few high profile men who have come out recently, years after they last competed: e.g. Colin Jackson, Mark Forster, Gareth Thomas. Gareth Thomas describes how difficult it was repressing his homosexuality as a high profile sportsman in his autobiography. He married and had kids he was so in the closet.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    1. Half of Wales knew that "Alfie" (Gareth Thomas's nickname) was gay before he officially came-out.

    2. He and his ex-wife didn't have any children.

    I find it fairly odd that the majority of male UK sportspeople who have come-out are Welsh, but then I reckon it could be because we're a small country and everybody knows somebody who knows someone else who knows X's auntie., we revere our rugby players for what they do on the pitch, but off the pitch we just let them get on with life.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    There's a few openly gay footballers playing Aussie Rules in the blokes competition. I think there's a few gay women too playing in the footy. The AFL certainly purports to be a very woke organisation nowadays. There's also the wugger, which people up north who are too posh to play the national sport tend to follow. Just before I left a star player, Israel Fulau was kicked out of the competition for posting evangelical warnings about the eternal destination of the souls of LGBTQI folk. It certainly made a change from the usual antics of Rugby players, involving drinking,
    sexual assault, and getting caught on CCTV defecating in hotel corridors
    .
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    HE'S AN AUSTRALIAN CRICKETER?????????

    Oh my God. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

    Aussie Fast Bowler video

    You guys have been SO disrespectful.
    :lol: -- your "True Australian" badge and gift pack is in the post.
  • KittyvilleKittyville Shipmate
    You're thinking of rugby league players, Simon Toad - certainly as far as the latter two activities go. Israel Folau used to be one of those, but more recently, he's played rugby union.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Ian Roberts came out as gay in '95 or '96 - one of the first in any sport and certainly the first in League. Lots of rumours back in the early '70s after a tour of the UK with a very young Russell Fairfax reputably the apple of the eye of one of the others on the team - attention he did not reciprocate.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    That, of course, should have been reputedly.
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    That, of course, should have been reputedly.

    I didn't spot that! Good thing you did - there's quite the legal difference...
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    Seeing as I've gone and drawn an audience of antipodeans who are at least willing to entertain discussing the exploits of sporting figures, is anyone interested in taking a tangent and discussing the Israel Folau saga? It is much in the news here, and much on my mind...
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited May 2
    I think it would be an interesting discussion. Particularly in light of other (not all) players of Pacific Island heritage supporting him due to their similar religious beliefs. What may it mean, and what role do sporting organisations and players have in such debates?
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    According to Wikipedia Roberts came out as gay in 1997. And yes, while he was still playing.

    The equivalent over here was Justin Fashanu, the footballer, who came out in 1990. His homosexuality was known earlier, Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest wouldn't let him train with the other players because he was gay in the 1980s - according to wiki (link), which affected his career. He committed suicide in 1998. Fashanu's example has not encouraged other male players to come out. The wiki article on homosexuality in football cannot name a male English premier league footballer out in 2012, lots of women, but no men. There are two English professional footballers on their list as at 2012, four worldwide.
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    I think it would be an interesting discussion. Particularly in light of other (not all) players of Pacific Island heritage supporting him due to their similar religious beliefs. What may it mean, and what role do sporting organisations and players have in such debates?

    Yeah. I'm really conflicted about the whole thing, tbh. Basically, (in my opinion), Folau is generally, being a dick, and specifically, bringing both his code and his faith into disrepute - but - I have this uncomfortable niggle at the back of my mind that says, yebbut...this is neocolonialism, at least at some level. A couple of centuries ago, a bunch of white dudes descend on the pacific and tell the folks living there that they've got it all wrong, and actually, this is how things are - fast forward two hundred years and the good Pasifika people are still showing up to to church every Sunday, all in white, and hats for the ladies, while the rest of the world has moved on to freaking hillsongs, and now one of them is upholding the stuff one of his ancestors was fed by one of my ancestors and we're all, like, 'Nooo! You're behind the times! You're wrong! Again! Tssh! Brown people!'

    Seriously - I don't know. It is utter poison, the stuff Folau has been coming out with, and I wish to blazes he would shut up, decide he values his purity more than his four million dollars, and just piss off - but I don't doubt he actually believes the stuff he believes. If I had any way of communicating with him, I'd advise him to pray. And then to pray, and to pray, and to pray. And then to pray some more, before he does any more talking. He's claimed he says these things out of love, and maybe he believes that, too. But he should pray more and post less. He'd be better off, and so would everyone else in the world.
  • KittyvilleKittyville Shipmate
    I tend to back the line of argument that says that this is about his commitment to abide by his employer's social media policy, not his religious beliefs. He is absolutely entitled to his beliefs and the practice of his faith. What he is not entitled to do is wilfully breach a policy which he has committed to abide by, without consequences.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    That's pretty much it. If you sign a contract, say one of employment, you are bound by its terms, explicit and implied, ie by an employer's code of conduct. Oh, and the law of the land, case and statute. It's common sense although I recognise that IANAL.

    If Folau and Billy Vunipola (England player, who has spoken in suppoort of Folau) want to do otherwise, they could set up an alternative competition. That's the only way to square inflexible religious beliefs with a society that isn't run by your theocracy.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited May 2
    I wouldn't be surprised if Folau got some very bad advice from somewhere along the lines of: "God's put you in this position for a reason brah." This is total speculation of the one arm on the bar, the other holding a beer variety. His career moves have been bizarre, and I think have followed the cash, code hopping. Bad advice there too I'd say. The guy strikes me as a meathead, but that might be the old footy v rugger prejudice.

    I have called at least four things bizarre today. Bizarre.

    On the issue of culture, I think anoesis has a point. I know something else is happening relating to other Islander sportspeople, but I don't know what it is. I smell trouble brewing.



  • sionisais wrote: »
    If Folau and Billy Vunipola (England player, who has spoken in suppoort of Folau) want to do otherwise, they could set up an alternative competition. That's the only way to square inflexible religious beliefs with a society that isn't run by your theocracy.

    No, it isn't. One could also decide that Messrs Folau and Vunipola were entitled to share their opinions. It doesn't need a theocratic society for individuals to be permitted to advocate their inflexible religious beliefs.

    The extent to which an employer should be permitted to regulate his employee's conduct outside work is a matter of some debate. In the case of professional sports players, it is more than normally complicated to decide what "outside work" means.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    These are big societal issues that sport is facing. Should sporting codes be deciding these questions that have ramifications for all of us:

    * How much of the individual can an employer control?
    * How far can your employer go in demanding you refrain from professing your personal beliefs on your own social media accounts?
    * Should your employer be able to stand you down while you have the presumption of innocence in the eyes of the law?
    * Can your employer decide you are female, but not female enough to compete as one?

    The rights of the individual and the rule of law are the cornerstones of democracy, but looking at de Belin, Folau or Semenya it seems the individual is being sacrificed by sport, which has always been a law unto itself.

    From an article by Tracey Holmes looking at Caster Semenya, Israel Folau and Jack de Belin (rugby league player).

    To be honest, I am not sure I have an informed view, or anything but a visceral reaction to Folau. Semenya I think I have an informed view (allow to compete). Though I thought the article was interesting, hence me sharing.
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    The extent to which an employer should be permitted to regulate his employee's conduct outside work is a matter of some debate.
    This is true.
    In the case of professional sports players, it is more than normally complicated to decide what "outside work" means.
    I don't think the whole 'we have expectations of you upholding a standard at all times' from the employer is at all unique to professional sportspeople. It's likely to feature with anyone who has a high profile, or occupies a position of prominence, that they came into via their work. So, also, senior military personnel, judges, school principals, etc.
    One could also decide that Messrs Folau and Vunipola were entitled to share their opinions. It doesn't need a theocratic society for individuals to be permitted to advocate their inflexible religious beliefs.
    One of the things that concerns me most about the situation, the way it's unfolding, though, is the possibility that Folau, via his actions, will create an atmosphere where every single player who holds the same beliefs as him is going to feel like they need to nail their colours to the wall, as well. And all the people who don't will then feel obliged to say that, and acrimony will reign supreme, and while Folau will polishes up his halo, the cause of Christ will have been advanced not one tiny little bit.
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I wouldn't be surprised if Folau got some very bad advice from somewhere along the lines of: "God's put you in this position for a reason brah."
    I think there is a very strong chance that this is exactly what has happened. He may even have been 'prophesied over'.
  • anoesisanoesis Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    These are big societal issues that sport is facing. Should sporting codes be deciding these questions that have ramifications for all of us:

    * How much of the individual can an employer control?
    * How far can your employer go in demanding you refrain from professing your personal beliefs on your own social media accounts?
    * Should your employer be able to stand you down while you have the presumption of innocence in the eyes of the law?
    * Can your employer decide you are female, but not female enough to compete as one?

    The rights of the individual and the rule of law are the cornerstones of democracy, but looking at de Belin, Folau or Semenya it seems the individual is being sacrificed by sport, which has always been a law unto itself.

    From an article by Tracey Holmes looking at Caster Semenya, Israel Folau and Jack de Belin (rugby league player).

    To be honest, I am not sure I have an informed view, or anything but a visceral reaction to Folau. Semenya I think I have an informed view (allow to compete). Though I thought the article was interesting, hence me sharing.

    I will have a look at that article - thanks for sharing. I've been following the Semenya thing with interest.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    This article was written by a journo who works with Sydney's Gay Newspaper and talks about his contact with Folau and the incongruity between some of his actions and statements and others. It's primarily an article on the impact of Folau's tweets on any LGBTQI kid who may follow his sporting exploits.
  • anoesis wrote: »
    In the case of professional sports players, it is more than normally complicated to decide what "outside work" means.
    I don't think the whole 'we have expectations of you upholding a standard at all times' from the employer is at all unique to professional sportspeople. It's likely to feature with anyone who has a high profile, or occupies a position of prominence, that they came into via their work. So, also, senior military personnel, judges, school principals, etc.
    No, it's not unique. My point was that there is debate about how much "uphold a standard outside work" is reasonable for an employer to insist on, and that for some people, "outside work" isn't clearly defined. If you're a schoolteacher, it's clear that you're not working when you're in the club on a Friday night. Perhaps you'll get in trouble with your employer for what you do, but it's clear that you're outside work. If you're a sports player, some fraction of your job is publicity for your team etc., so are you really "outside work" when you're making public comment as Joe Bloggs, captain of the East Nowhere Bog Jumping team?

    So even if one takes the extreme view that an employer has nothing at all to say about anything that an employee does outside work, that would still leave people like Mr. Folau in a grey area - can we really say he was outside work when he made his comments?

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited May 3
    Folau is very well paid, and he signed up to a code of conduct applying to his behavior at all times. In the context of his job, and given the history of player misbehavior and criminal activity in Rugby generally, that restriction is reasonable. But you can't talk about employees in general, that's too broad a category. You have to look at the specific job, the circumstances of the employer and other relevant factors on pretty much a case by case basis to determine whether a restriction on outside work behavior can result in dismissal, which really is the key question. I suppose you could mount a claim for damages or injunctive relief, but that's usually not what is wanted. Sport is weird though.

    Also, in NSW there was 20 years ago a particular law that said something like 'you can't be a prick to your employee, cobber.' Sorry, I can't remember exactly but when I was a lawyer in Victoria we used to look at that particular provision and drool. It was a goldmine for plaintiff lawyers (and their clients of course). We need Gee D to come along and clarifly/ blow me out of the water.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Sorry but can't help you - it's a very, very specialised area. Actions under the Anti-Discrimination Act need to be tied to one of the proscribed bases for discrimination. AFAIK, a general claim for unfair dismissal can still be made and what is unfair depends on the eye of the beholder.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    A hearing has found rugby union player Israel Folau committed a "high-level breach" of the Professional Players' Code of Conduct.

    A decision has not yet been made on how he will be punished.

    A panel of John West QC, Kate Eastman SC and John Boultee presided over the three-day hearing, and will now take submissions on possible sanctions for Folau.
    Probably what I expected; breaking news so more details to come.


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