Sacked former rugby international Israel Folau has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia (RA) and NSW Rugby for breach of contract.
Folau’s lawyers said under Section 772 of the Fair Work Act, it was unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion.
I had a feeling he might do this. Folau got into trouble for expressing views which form the basis of several mainstream religions, including his own, on his private Instagram feed. I don’t have much faith in any Australian judge not just ruling however progressives demand, but on the face of it I think he has a case. How can an organisation claim it does not discriminate on the grounds of religion – which is a set of beliefs – and then fire someone for expressing those beliefs outside the organisation?
RA and NSW Rugby released a statement confirming they would maintain their ground following Folau’s decision to launch legal action.
The organisations stated they “did not choose” to be in this position but they were committed to upholding the values of “inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork”.
Inclusion? That’s the word you’re going to go with here? And I notice you didn’t include tolerance.
“We will defend those values and the right for all people to feel safe and welcome in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion or sexuality,” the statement said.
We welcome people regardless of their religion provided they don’t express its underlying beliefs, even in a private capacity. This article does a good job of explaining the Gordian Knot identity politics has tied for itself:
Sport is to be commended for striving to uphold the best values of a modern society, but what happens when those values clash — the human right of sexual orientation versus the human right to freedom of religion?
Does quoting from the Bible constitute hate speech? Was Folau inciting violence?
There is little to no distinction between the “public face” of a sport and the “individual” who may want to express his or her own views or religious beliefs — as they are entitled to under the charter of Human Rights.
His Instagram account doesn’t describe him as a Wallaby or mention rugby at all. It says, “Israel Folau. Living for Jesus Christ. #TeamJesus.”
All eyes will be on the outcome of this court case. I hope Folau wins, but I won’t be holding my breath. Ultimately, it will come down to who sits higher in the victim hierarchy and we already know that gays outrank Christians by a mile and a half. But the courts are going to have to tread carefully because gays don’t outrank certain other religions, and unfortunately for progressives discrimination laws lump all religions in the same basket. The head honchos at world rugby must be praying Sonny Bill Williams doesn’t tweet anything similar before the world cup starts.