footballertimothy-eberly-983458-blogWhen I was a kid I used to look forward to the weekends because Saturdays meant soccer matches in winter and cricket matches in summer.

I’d be devastated when the weather turned poorly, and you’d wake up dreading the phone call that would break the morning silence and announce the game was off.

Slightly less bad was being made ‘reserve’ and not getting a full game.

You play a sport to play and you’ll do anything to stay in the game you love.

Anything?

Well what if it meant denying your faith or silencing your mouth when it comes to what you share with others?

When kids deserve to be sidelined

Now, if you’re child does any of the following on the field, I think we all most likely agree, they should be suspended from play, if not banned.

-abusing the referee

-cheating

-disrespecting the coach

-bullying team-mates or the opposition

Off the field, one might argue that their behavior has no bearing on their Saturday involvement as that is a private matter.

Personal viewpoints and beliefs of our kids on and off the field one would think are just that, personal and a matter of opinion. However, this is changing in our secular societies as demonstrated by recent events in Australia.

Footballer gets sacked and banned from Australian Rugby team for quoting Scripture

Professional footballers are role models and are often supported by lucrative sponsorship contracts and so, one might argue, their off-field behavior matters. Indeed, it seems they have contracts that are tied to codes of conduct, that implies, their off-field behavior does matter. At least that seems to be the view of Australian Rugby, even though it appears very selective in how it applies that view.

Recently, Israel Folau, an Australian Rugby player, whose family originates from Polynesia, has been found guilty of breaching his contract and player’s code of conduct by the NRL judiciary panel. The breach was considered ‘high level’ so they handed down the verdict, banning him from the sport and terminating his contract.

What amounted to such an egregious breach of conduct?

Folau quoted a verse of Scripture in his twitter feed.

Many commentators have distanced themselves from Folau’s quoting of Scripture, in particular, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, while simultaneously expressing exasperation over the code’s blindness to far more serious breaches of conduct by other players.

Surely a player should not return to the field and cannot be considered a role model if:

-they physically abuse their wife/partner

-share without consent, photos of girls being used in sex games with their teammates

-conduct themselves in violent off field brawls, drunkenness and lewdness

-intentionally play in a way to harm another player

Yet, the code let’s them return to the field. Oh, they might get a fine or a short suspension, but they can still play. In contrast, they crucify Folau for his quotation of verse deeming it offensive and harmful to LGBTQI, though he is of good character and held in high regard by his peers.

Killing Free Speech

What this amounts to is willful hypocrisy, fueled by fear and the love of money resulting in the end of free speech in our country.

Free speech is for everyone, not just Christians or people of faith. So we all should be upset about this sad, self-harm.

If the code cared about women and the respect of women, they wouldn’t let players who abuse their partners back on the field. They have an opportunity and a responsibility to uphold the community’s standard. Oh sure, there's isolated examples of a player being banned for rape, but usually they get to still play.

Israel held up a light.

He quoted a verse.

Isn’t that what God requires of us, to hold up the light of the good news and suffer for it if required?

They have literally spent millions contorting themselves around the minutiae of their iddy bitty contracts in their iddy bitty courts to try and find a loophole whereby they can justify his sacking. Yet they leave the dirty grubby wife beating players on the field.

The light entered the world, but the world did not overcome it…but it doesn’t stop it from trying!

Surely international law, undergirded by the declaration of human rights has a thing or two to say to these highly paid pharisees?

They nibble on gnats while they feast on camels.

Harassment of Christians

Israel’s stance is nothing less than orthodox. Being Christian has often been ‘on the nose’; the gospel has always been offensive. It’ says, ‘we are all sinners, but turn to God who offers forgiveness in Jesus’ name’. We peacefully hold out the hope we have freely received as sinners to all. But now Christians are being forced into situations where they also must celebrate the gay lifestyle or face harassment. It’s not just happening to high level sports people, it’s happening in the workplace, in your kid’s school.

Sponsors deserve our ire

While we can blame the clubs, the code, the players, we need also to put the sponsors under our glare. Sponsors only stick around for the money.

The sponsors pick up this charge, championing the LGBTQI cause, looking so gallant, but only because it’s trendy. The LGBTQI might be glad of the support, glad of the money behind their cause, but like Falau, might want to reconsider just how much they are being 'bought'.

What I find particularly offensive is that the same sponsors have faced no negative repercussions that I am aware of for supporting the return of wife beating players back on the field. What does this say about Australia and the type of sewer we are living in?

Well, that’s when I snapped.

That’s when a hand put a pen in my hand and a vioice said to me, 'write this down and don’t stop till it’s done!'

That’s when the rapper, Skito, the third character of Anton's Antics, took to writing a protest song.

UPDATE: SKITO'S SONG IS OUT!

OutonMyErseBlog

Controversial song, controversial title...Skito even got an 'EXPLICIT' label for the content.

Out on My Erse is live!

But there's nothing to fear, as the song takes aim at the hypocrisy, double standard and inconsistency of what's been happening to Israel Folau

Be sure to Share the song's release with anyone you can, get this song out there guys!

Keep up with all the behind the scences and more about the song by following Skito on https://www.facebook.com/skitomusic

 

PS: yes, I know the difference between gridiron and footy.

 Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash