Unfinished Izzyness

Staying on the topic of Australian labour laws and following on from this story, Israel Folau is back in the news:

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.


15 thoughts on “Unfinished Izzyness

  1. While I am not a lawyer, this may likely turn on whether Izzy or his employer can contract away their rights or obligations under the FWA. It will be interesting,

    If you haven’t been following, look up Peter Ridd’s case against his university employer. This so far is in Peter’s favour, which shows some balance in the judiciary. It is a solid farce overall. The case for Peter is on Jennifer Marohasy’s blog. https://jennifermarohasy.com/2019/04/peter-ridd-has-won-because-of-you/

  2. While I am not a lawyer, this may likely turn on whether Izzy or his employer can contract away their rights or obligations under the FWA. It will be interesting,

    Yes, generally courts take a dim view of employers attempting to curtail workers’ statutory rights via contractual clauses, and I think it’s a matter of time before a sensible judge rules “potential disrepute” is not reason enough to fire an employee who has exercised their fundamental human rights to freedom of expression. Although it might take a while.

    It is a solid farce overall.

    Blimey, isn’t it just?

  3. A body that claims to insist on inclusion, then excludes someone, can not be accused of having integrity.

  4. With apologies to any rugby fans, I find the clash of these titanic and well-trained forces to be more interesting to watch than the game itself. In both cases, I’m glad I’m only a spectator.

  5. It’s well established that you cannot enforce a contract clause which goes against the law.
    However, m’learned Aussie friends might just find that this voids the whole contract.
    As a fan I find it a crying shame. Those thick ockers who run Rugby Aus should just have shrugged it off, as they nearly did the first time.
    Izzy won’t be playing in the W C because his captain and some of the senior players got all sweaty in favour of the gayers, the dumb fools.
    Rugby Oz not so rich it can pay him $4 million not to play.

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  7. Is there anyone or anything that is not higher than Christians on the victim hierarchy?

  8. You are very likely correct that he will lose. I’m not an Oz, but it appears to me that Oz is as bad or worse than the US, and I’d bet a mortgage payment that he’d lose in the US. But it’s always good when someone with some status (especially status among white guys) hits back at the bahstahds. It will cost them some money and perhaps make them—and other narrative enforcers—think a little bit harder before they do it again

  9. RadioMattM: Is there anyone or anything that is not higher than Christians on the victim hierarchy?

    I’d refer you to any combination consisting of some or all of the following attributes:
    white, middle class, male (toxic or otherwise), Tory, private school educated, able-bodied and possibly ginger. This assumes that “Christians” as used by you denotes something more in tune with a religious conviction than that of, say, Justin Welby.

    Soon to join this list will be anything to which the prefix “Cis-” can be added and of course the progressive soupe du jour will also be on the blackboard menu as a special ‘guest’ victim status with a joker that could propel it up the rankings while a tweet storm lasts.

  10. “Is there anyone or anything that is not higher than Christians on the victim hierarchy?”

    Yes a white, heterosexual, male, Christian father is the worst you can get.

  11. The traffic lights at the junction of intersectionality are slowly going out of sync and it won’t be long before there’s a major car crash, and it won’t be pretty. I think the trigger will be the Olympics. Its one thing a Trans winning school or college events at State or even national level but when it’s for Olympic Gold there will be hell on.

    At the school and college level most female (and male) athletes tend to be the ones who are naturally gifted and often don’t need to put a great deal of effort in to do well. A friend’s daughter was in this position winning county level cross country and distance events easily. She was also selected for the England youth rowing squad but decided she didn’t want the body that went with it. I think if she’d been beaten by a Trans she’d have shrugged and moved on. Her mum would have been furious, but who cares about white middle class women?

    At the Olympic level its different. Years of training, dedication and sacrifice are required just to get there. Not just by the athlete, there’s whole teams behind them who have made sacrifices, including serious amounts of money – parents, friends, coaches etc. These athletes also tend to be a lot more competitive and don’t like losing at the best of times.

    So when a Trans who would be ranked 1,000 or so in the men’s event wins a high profile women’s event it will be hard for people to shrug. If its an all American girl or, even worse, someone from a country that is less culturally sensitive it will be hard for the MSM to ignore what’s going on. If we then get medal boycotts from other athletes or tantrums on the podium it will bring the subject to the fore and be either the death of women’s sports or a backlash against all Trans, including those who have been quietly going about their lives and not just those who can best be described as trolling.

  12. I think that Mr Folau is on strong contractual grounds – $4m to show how inclusive Australian Rugby is, seems a high price to show you’re bigoted against Christians. Just wait till someone starts quoting from the Koran

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