Sport Analysis - SSM: Israel Folau fallout shouldn't stop sports bodies making a stand on same-sex marriage

09:17  14 september  2017
09:17  14 september  2017 Source:   ABC News

Springboks coach Allister Coetzee's subtle sledge at Wallabies after Dunedin heartbreak

  Springboks coach Allister Coetzee's subtle sledge at Wallabies after Dunedin heartbreak Springboks coach Allister Coetzee has thrown a cheeky barb at the Wallabies ahead of their clash this weekend, saying he felt they should have finished off the job against the All Blacks in Dunedin after leading with three minutes remaining. The South African national coach also expressed his admiration for Wallabies No.12 Kurtley Beale and the "unbelievable form" of fullback Israel Folau.Coetzee's side have arrived in Perth looking to make it three wins on the trot to begin their Rugby Championship campaign following solid victories over Argentina in Port Elizabeth and Salta.

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Whether or not you agree with him, Israel Folau made his stance on same-sex marriage clear.© AAP/ David Moir Whether or not you agree with him, Israel Folau made his stance on same-sex marriage clear. Sport has never really been separate to politics or social upheaval, despite the myth. It is a convenient fantasy for people who want to see sport as an entertainment bubble, reluctant to let in the messy human trials and aspirations of the people who play and the people who watch.

In an age when people bemoan a lack of moral leadership, it is ridiculous to think that sports can insulate themselves from a debate that is gripping the country, like the current hot-button issue of same-sex marriage.

Israel Folau's tweet signalling his opposition to SSM, and the misguided and stupidly ugly backlash that unfortunately followed, would not have changed had the ARU stayed on the fence. And more sports should nail their colours to the mast.

Springboks coach Allister Coetzee's subtle sledge at Wallabies after Dunedin heartbreak

  Springboks coach Allister Coetzee's subtle sledge at Wallabies after Dunedin heartbreak Springboks coach Allister Coetzee has thrown a cheeky barb at the Wallabies ahead of their clash this weekend, saying he felt they should have finished off the job against the All Blacks in Dunedin after leading with three minutes remaining. The South African national coach also expressed his admiration for Wallabies No.12 Kurtley Beale and the "unbelievable form" of fullback Israel Folau.Coetzee's side have arrived in Perth looking to make it three wins on the trot to begin their Rugby Championship campaign following solid victories over Argentina in Port Elizabeth and Salta.

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The Wallabies changed their logos on social media on Tuesday to show their support for same-sex marriage.© Facebook: Wallabies The Wallabies changed their logos on social media on Tuesday to show their support for same-sex marriage. While the ARU is among more than a dozen bodies to make clear their stance on SSM (and no sport, so far, has declared opposition to SSM) there are many more who are failing to make their positions clear. Some, like swimming, are soon to take the question to their boards now that the postal survey is reality. But I suspect others are frozen in place by the belief that they ought to not engage. The Australian Olympic Committee has decided to put its conscious neutrality on the record. AOC CEO Matt Carroll, when asked by the ABC about his organisation's stance on SSM, issued a carefully worded response, putting itself very firmly at a distance from the fray.

Wallabies star opposes marriage equality

  Wallabies star opposes marriage equality High profile Wallabies star Israel Folau has unleashed a social media storm, after tweeting his opposition to moves to legalise same-sex marriage. Folau, who is a devout Christian, has previously stayed silent on political and religious issues, but has drawn intense criticism following his comments. © Getty Images Israel Folau. “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions,” he tweeted.“But personally, I will not support gay marriage.”I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. but personally, I will not support gay marriage.

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In almost all that time, same - sex marriage (preceded by civil partnerships) has been on the political agenda. Until recently, we were the only organization in the country arguing against same - sex marriage on a consistent basis.

Carroll says the "fundamental principles of Olympism … require every individual having the possibility to practise sport without discrimination of any kind including race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion. "Based on this the AOC respects diversity and supports raising awareness of discrimination of any kind.

The committee therefore asks all parties to this debate to do so with respect and understanding."

AOC conspicuously neutral

Fitzy backs sport's marriage equality stance

  Fitzy backs sport's marriage equality stance Peter FitzSimons has put his support behind the marriage equality campaign on the same day Wallabies star Israel Folau voiced his opposition to it.  Speaking on Wide World of Sports' 5 Minutes with Fitzy segment, the former Wallaby congratulated the NRL for backing the 'Yes' campaign. "I like the NRL saying, 'We're an inclusive code'," FitzSimons said."Ian Roberts writing to them, Todd Greenberg writing back saying, 'Yes, NRL, we're inclusive, that's our prime value, we stand for inclusiveness, we are for same-sex marriage.

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Sport . ISRAEL Folau has voiced his opposition to same - sex marriage in the same week the ARU came out in support of the ‘yes’ campaign in the upcoming postal survey.

The AOC takes great pride (pardon the pun) in its anti-homophobia stance, in 2016 endorsing a float in the Mardi Gras. But the clear implication from the AOC's conspicuously neutral stance is that it believes supporting diversity does not mean taking sides. In other words, it believes that being against homophobia does not necessarily require a yes vote.

The AOC is also desperately keen not to put anyone offside, to alienate anyone in its membership who would be upset by clear advocacy either way, especially those who say a no vote protects religious freedom. As an umbrella body, it is conscious of the breadth and depth of its membership and range of their views, and they could argue this makes it a special case.

It could point to Israel Folau's stance as proof of the wisdom of its position; it could posit that governing bodies are forcing dissenting individuals to make an awkward choice either to remain silent, or stand up against their bosses.

NBL owner Larry Kestelman wants to start using his voice to actually say something.© ABC News/Mary Gearin NBL owner Larry Kestelman wants to start using his voice to actually say something. Sporting bodies need to show leadership

Michael Cheika says people need to respect Israel Folau's opposition to same-sex marriage

  Michael Cheika says people need to respect Israel Folau's opposition to same-sex marriage Wallabies coach Michael Cheika believes the Australian public needs to be respectful of Israel Folau's opposition to same-sex marriage and has refuted a suggestion the star fullback's opinion could create team disharmony ahead of Saturday's Test.Wallabies coach Michael Cheika believes the Australian public needs to be respectful of Israel Folau's opposition to same-sex marriage and has refuted a suggestion the star fullback's opinion could create team disharmony ahead of Saturday's Test against Argentina.

Israel Folau says he does not support same - sex marriage , sparking Twitter outrage and bucking a trend of sporting organisations backing a 'yes' vote. Sport Union Israel Folau cops backlash for gay marriage tweet.

Literature on same - sex marriage – how it is now a normal part of society – was handed out to the students. In 2011 a prominent physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston – a large Harvard-affiliated hospital – objected to the hospital being involved with “Gay Pride” activities.

But sporting bodies should make their positions clear, for two reasons.

One is that sporting organisations have long been touting their leadership roles when it comes to social inclusion, public health and community cohesion.

There would not be a code of conduct in the country that allows discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, because that is the law.

Therefore it is not unreasonable to ask whether a sport considers SSM a natural extension of an anti-homophobic stance, of their own codes of conduct, and why. Or alternatively, whether it believes SSM involves other factors entirely, and why.

And the second reason is that these same sporting bodies can model respectful debate.

I would like to think Folau felt supported enough in his rugby community to make a stand, and that even teammates who disagree with him would not follow the example of Twitter trolls who are piling on.

He had as much right as anyone else to make his point, and anyone who disagrees with it should play the ball and not the man. The sports that have advocated for SSM would insist that sport also has a moral imperative to take sides.

AFL forced to act on racism by Nicky Wimnar

There is a history to this. The AFL leapt to the forefront two decades ago, forced to act by Nicky Winmar's leadership on racism.

Wallabies v Argentina talking points: The great escape, but will the Wallabies return to Canberra?

  Wallabies v Argentina talking points: The great escape, but will the Wallabies return to Canberra? The Wallabies found a Rugby Championship spark, but will this win be a turning point?The Wallabies had their heads hanging low when they were booed off the field in the first half, but they bounced back in the best possible way to maintain an unbeaten Canberra record.

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Since then it has been an enthusiastic supporter of diversity, multiculturalism, gay rights, people with disability, gender equality and respect for women — and other major codes have followed suit.

Philadelphia Eagles players make a stand during the US national anthem.© AP: Kiichiro Sato Philadelphia Eagles players make a stand during the US national anthem. In the US, there is an even longer history of sports and sportspeople standing up for issues that were not so accepted in the mainstream at the time, like the civil rights movement.

Some have accused the AFL of 'virtue signalling', and might see the current rush to support for SSM as a branding exercise.

One senior sporting administrator told me, privately, that sports have gone "too far", and should stick to running their games.

But sporting bodies, like it or not, are also seeking to engage with their fans, and make their product more meaningful and community-based.

Fans can distinguish the positions taken by leaders and individual sportspeople, just as Australians know various Catholic leaders do not speak for all Catholics and that human rights groups do not speak for all humans.

NBL owner Larry Kestelman told the ABC he is canvassing the passions of his fans, and that it is important for sports to "use their voice".

It is obvious that in backing SSM, some sports are willing to stare down any players, administrators or fans who disagree.

Presumably there might be some sports that take the opposite view on SSM. But who would know? Many are clearly still struggling with having a presence in public discourse.

They need to understand the 'marriage' between sport and social justice is one for life.


AFL changes logo to 'YES' in support of marriage equality .
The AFL is the latest Australian sporting organisation to support marriage equality, making an eye-catching statement on the outside of its Docklands headquarters. On Wednesday morning the logo at AFL House was replaced with a prominent 'YES' sign, sending an unmistakeable message that the league is continuing its tradition of taking a leadership role on social issues. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

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