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Rathbone takes Folau to task


'He's got strange ideas in his head... he appears to be caught up in a relatively small community of zealots'

South African-born Wallaby Clyde Rathbone has taken former Australian coach Alan Jones to task for his on-air support of the embattled Israel Folau.

After a three-person independent panel decided that Folau has committed a high level breach off the professional players’ code of conduct, Jones took to the airwaves in Sydney to denounce the outcome.

“The Australia that our Anzacs fought for seems to be disappearing before our very eyes,” Jones said. “It prompts you to wonder what kind of society we’re living in. Nothing wrong with Israel, it’s the society and those who prosecute him who are sick.

“But the cancer won’t kill us, it’s the cancer that will be removed, not Israel. The Australian people won’t accept this. This is not the Australia our veterans fought for and we’re going to have to take our country back by argument and by the democratic and peaceful process — not by hate and revenge or vilification and intimidation.”

However, in a first-person piece for the Australian Players Voice, Rathbone — who played 26 Tests for the Wallabies and more than 60 games for the Brumbies — hit out at Jones’ assessment.

“Radio presenter Alan Jones, in particular, seems to be doing his best to position Israel as a victim, calling the Rugby Australia ruling ‘Orwellian’,” wrote Rathbone. “This is nonsense. I’d like to ask Alan if he believes his employer, commercial radio station, 2GB, is obligated to continue employing him regardless of his speech?

“Alan Jones could quote from the Bible to lend his support to slavery, torture and murder. Can he continue to do so and keep his job? I think he cannot. And yet this is analogous to the Folau situation in every way.”

An advocate of free speech, Rathbone doesn’t believe anyone should lose their job for expressing their beliefs — unless in extreme cases where a contract is breached. He wrote that he admires Folau’s courage and conviction to stand up for what he believes in, but concludes that there is no other option but for him to be sacked.

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Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19?-?21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________

A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on

“This feels like a line in the sand moment. Not just for Rugby Australia but sport in general. And society. Are we brave enough to criticise bad ideas regardless of where they originated?

“For me, Israel is free to say whatever he chooses, but he is not free to force Rugby Australia to continue employing him if he has breached his contract by promoting views which undermine the organisation’s values.

“He doesn’t seem to have posted divisive content online for malicious reasons. He’s standing up for what he believes in. While I could not possibly disagree with him more strongly, I do admire the fact that he has the courage of his convictions.

“I feel for him as a person. He’s got strange ideas in his head and he didn’t necessarily choose them. He appears to be caught up in a relatively small community of zealots. He’s not intentionally going out of his way to hurt anybody. He’s just extremely ignorant. I don’t doubt that he thinks he’s being helpful. But good intentions aren’t good enough. You have to have good ideas.

“When he posted the material that has now landed him in hot water he would have been completely aware that he was crossing a line he said he would not cross. And he would have crossed that line with the full knowledge that it would disrupt the teams he represents.?

“The good news is that, once a final resolution has been reached, the team will adjust quickly. Teams are generally very good at dealing with players coming in, going out, these fluctuations are part of the natural cycle in sport.”

WATCH: Part one of the RugbyPass documentary that sets the scene for fans travelling to the 2019 Worked Cup in Japan

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'He's got strange ideas in his head... he appears to be caught up in a relatively small community of zealots'
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