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Thread: RA and Israel Folau Settle their dispute

  1. #31
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    THE AUSTRALIAN

    Raelene Castle should resign over diabolical Israel Folau disaster

    10:47AM DECEMBER 5, 2019 • H 956 COMMENTS
    A team of the sassiest spin doctors can’t help Rugby Australia. They lost on Wednesday. Big time.

    It was an old-fashioned shellacking not seen since the Wallabies lost to England in the World Cup quarterfinal this year. Given that Westpac boss Brian Hartzer fell on his sword for a disaster he didn’t know about, surely RA boss Raelene Castle should resign for a disaster she personally orchestrated.

    READ MORE: Rugby’s apology vindicated me: Folau | Rugby chief calls for cool heads | Fast track religious freedom, Israel urges

    Put it this way. Earlier this year, Israel Folau, who was sacked by RA for posting on social media his religious beliefs, said: “First and foremost I am hoping for an apology from RA and an acknowledgment that even if they disagree with my views, I should be free to peacefully express my religious beliefs without fear of retribution or exclusion.”

    Folau’s solicitor, George Haros, said an apology would “come a long way to resolving the dispute”.

    That was in August. Castle responded by saying RA would not apologise to Folau.

    On Wednesday afternoon, following marathon mediation negotiations, RA wholeheartedly apologised to Folau. In fact, the humiliating settlement overseen by Castle saw RA “acknowledge and apologise for any hurt or harm caused” to both Israel and his wife, Maria. It reads like a mea culpa from RA for being part of the pile-on that Maria endured when she publicly supported her husband during this battle.

    Folau received money from RA, too. That’s in addition to the $2.1m fighting fund to cover his legal expenses from Australians who support Folau’s right to express his religious views, even if many — like me — disagree vehemently with his views. That, after all, is the real test of our commitment to freedom of expression, and religious freedom, in a liberal democracy.

    The money left over after legal costs will now be refunded.
    It’s a safe bet that Folau received a decent sum, too. A source close to the litigation confirmed to The Australian it was a multimillion-dollar settlement. Why else would Folau settle, given what lay ahead?
    Folau’s legal team, led by Stuart Wood QC, intended to call Pacific Islander members of the Wallabies to give evidence that they told Castle that RA’s treatment of Folau was causing them great distress. In other words, entirely contradicting Castle’s claims that Folau’s actions were the cause of sinking team morale.

    Folau’s team could have called Qantas boss Alan Joyce too, to determine who was calling the shots, potentially encouraging RA to breach section 772 of the Fair Work Act, which prohibits an employer from sacking an employee for unlawful reasons, including a person’s religion.

    Just as it is clear that Folau settled because he has walked away with a stonking big win — an apology and a healthy sum of money — it is equally clear that RA rolled over because it couldn’t bear a court case. And another year of being reminded of its hopeless mishandling of this matter.

    And imagine the relief on Kate Eastman’s face on Wednesday afternoon. Folau’s team was set to argue that the Sydney barrister’s role in the original tribunal hearing that led to Folau’s sacking raised questions of bias, or perceptions of bias. Eastman, a human rights lawyer, has a long history of supporting LGBTI causes. Good on her, that is her business. But her inclusion on the tribunal to sit in judgment on a devout Christian was a silly stunt that backfired badly.

    Speaking of human rights, it’s high time that freedom of expression was reinstated as one of our most fundamental human rights. But that will have to wait.
    Though Wednesday’s confidential settlement is a terrific win for Folau, some bigger questions remain unanswered in strict legal terms. A legal determination is still needed so that workers in this country know if they can be terminated, more or less at will, for expressing their religious beliefs under vaguely drafted, and subjectively interpreted, codes of conduct.

    JANET ALBRECHTSEN, COLUMNIST

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  2. #32
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    Out of all the things RA could have done they did the absolute worst thing possible, they rolled over and settled, by doing this they didnt uphold their values, they apologised to Izzy instead, they sold out Australian rugby financially and destroyed any possibility of grassroots rugby obtaining an increased amount of funding.

    They basically shit the bed, this time it was Raelenes colossal fuckup and she needs to fall on her sword.

    Out of all the outcomes I could imagine happening the fallout from this is by far the funniest.

    Who the fuck is RA's media adviser? Maybe its being done inhouse

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Seriously, who cares? Worry about it when the GRR Tongan team want to sign him, otherwise what they get up to is really none of our business or problem. Bigger, more important issues on the go, like Christmas...
    Plenty of people care Andy.

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    Ben Fordham had uncle Cam on a dinner plate on 2GB it was beautiful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Ben Fordham had uncle Cam on a dinner plate on 2GB it was beautiful.
    Is there a link?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPaRTAN View Post
    Is there a link?
    https://www.2gb.com/rugby-australia-chairman-calls-in-to-insist-raelene-castle-will-not-be-sacked/

    You have to listen to James Willis first as uncle Cam calls in after it.

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    Maybe read Wayne Smith's balanced (as usual) piece in the other thread second too. Never let facts get in the way of a good rant. Even a tiny bit of credit to Clyne for raising the cone of silence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Maybe read Wayne Smith's balanced (as usual) piece in the other thread second too. Never let facts get in the way of a good rant. Even a tiny bit of credit to Clyne for raising the cone of silence.
    Wayne Smith hmm balanced. He is about as balanced as Mitch Johnson’s bowling in the 2013/14 Ashes series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Wayne Smith hmm balanced. He is about as balanced as Mitch Johnson’s bowling in the 2013/14 Ashes series.
    The Ashes series where he took 37 wickets at an average of less than 14? (OK he was a bit expensive in some innings, but I'd take that level of erratic! )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    https://www.2gb.com/rugby-australia-chairman-calls-in-to-insist-raelene-castle-will-not-be-sacked/

    You have to listen to James Willis first as uncle Cam calls in after it.
    The fact that you're using 2GB and Alan Jones as the basis of your position just completely negates any credibility of your argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh View Post
    The Ashes series where he took 37 wickets at an average of less than 14? (OK he was a bit expensive in some innings, but I'd take that level of erratic! )
    Sorry the previous Ashes series at home apart from the Perth test he couldn’t land it on the stumps. There are only so many sites you can go through at once that discuss the RA’s mismanagement.

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    Last edited by Bakkies; 07-12-19 at 20:32.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCRugger View Post
    The fact that you're using 2GB and Alan Jones as the basis of your position just completely negates any credibility of your argument.
    Nah the apologists like to spin that angle. By stating that you have just become one.

    If you actually listen to it. It further highlights that Raelene is a lame duck walking and uncle Cam can’t string two sentences together. I would like to know about who uncle Cam is speaking to out in the ‘Rugby Community’ who are sick of the noise against the game. FOSUFC? His mate that he chooses to appoint as next Chairman?

    We all know that the RA gives fark all to Community Rugby. The boneheads running it use it is a card when they are making public statements about wasting money on law suits rather than spending those funds on Community Rugby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Nah the apologists like to spin that angle. By stating that you have just become one.

    If you actually listen to it. It further highlights that Raelene is a lame duck walking and uncle Cam can’t string two sentences together. I would like to know about who uncle Cam is speaking to out in the ‘Rugby Community’ who are sick of the noise against the game. FOSUFC? His mate that he chooses to appoint as next Chairman?

    We all know that the RA gives fark all to Community Rugby. The boneheads running it use it is a card when they are making public statements about wasting money on law suits rather than spending those funds on Community Rugby.

    And you think AJ gives two shits about the 'community game' beyond the Shute Shield? Because I'm sorry to tell you that you'll be sorely disappointed. I agree with the assertion that Clyne has been a staggering poor and polarising Chairman. Not questions about that. But Castle has had to deal with the shit sandwich that she has largely inherited. Has she been perfect? God no. But she's certainly not been nearly as poor as many would sell it.

    I take issue with you calling me an apologist because I think AJ is a vile, hateful cretin of a man. And you'd be foolish to believe he's spewing his brand of poison out of genuine concern and caring for the game. He has a very selfish and narrow objective in mind. If you cannot see through the bullshit that's your issue.

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    People have their personal opinion about Alan Jones which is fine but when it comes to Rugby they are letting it get in the way of driving change.

    It was also Ben Fordham doing the interview not Alan Jones. Fordham is connected in Rugby his late father John was a player manager and his uncle David was a respected commentator. Jones also doesn’t run the station. That has been made clear lately.

    Jones coached the Wallabies to a Grand Slam and won a series in NZ (which included our last win at Eden Park). He got the Barbarians up to Lismore to play the Classic Wallabies as a fundraiser for the flood victims. The match against the Barbarians wasn’t our game to promote according to the RA. An insult to a Rugby institution and Jones kicked off about it.

    He got Linda Reynolds and Hansie on to his show to discuss the culling of the Force. Without those interviews I wouldn’t have a clue who they are. The so called balanced Wayne Smith never gave them an airing in his articles. Smith threw a lot of vitriol at the European nations vetoing the World League. The RA relied on that to stay afloat and it was clear from his articles on this that Smith relies on the status quo at the RA for his livelihood.

    Jones on the other hand doesn’t and one of the few that was willing to have a pop at the RA. We all had a go at the FoxSports team and certain Fairfax journalists for not calling it out. Jones does that and people have a go at him. Can’t have it both ways.

    Regardless of your political view and personal opinion of Jones he does have a sway in the game.

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    Last edited by Bakkies; 07-12-19 at 21:27.

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    From news.com.au

    COMMENT

    I am all in on freedom of speech. I have defended it, been attacked for it and been abused with it.

    I also don’t buy the absurd and dangerous line that free speech does not extend to beliefs or opinions that are offensive. Free speech that is constrained to whatever some random observer deems acceptable or appropriate is, by definition, not free at all.

    I am also acutely aware that, unlike in the US, there is no explicit legal protection for free speech in this country. That is why those who value it must constantly defend it, often from an authoritarian hard left which demands the policing of language while at the same time dishing out the most vicious personal abuse.

    And I am acutely aware that plenty of people on the right often use the fig leaf of free speech to say ugly, ignorant or obnoxious things. That is horrible and deeply regrettable but it is still a smaller price to pay than censorship dictated by government or the angry mob.

    Israel Folau’s infamous post about drunks and homosexuals and adulterers et al going to Hell is the perfect example of this. It is stupid, it is offensive and – for what it’s worth – it is a hopeless misinterpretation of the Biblical passage he is quoting.

    So, do I support what he says? Absolutely not. But should he be banned from saying it? Also absolutely not.

    However, now that’s out of the way, let’s cut the crap.

    The notion that Folau is a humble martyr for his faith or a flag-bearer for freedom of speech is nothing short of horsesh*t.

    When he was first asked by Rugby Australia to remove his inflammatory Instagram post he refused, so staunch were his spiritual convictions. In both word and deed he declared that his faith was more important than his football career and he was prepared to walk away from fame and fortune rather than compromise his beliefs.

    Never mind that up until that point Folau had no problems trousering millions of dollars thanks to the Wallabies’ primary sponsor Qantas, whose CEO is a proudly gay man and whose corporate ethos explicitly embraces the lifestyle Folau condemns.

    Strangely he didn’t have any problem profiting from such profligate sin, nor – were he so concerned for their mortal souls – did he ever pick up the phone to Joyce and attempt to save him and his wayward flock from the ravages of hell.

    And even after he decided to become a martyr he couldn’t even do that right. The whole point of being a martyr is that you sacrifice whatever it takes for your beliefs. Folau lasted about five seconds before he decided that he didn’t want to sacrifice anything at all. He wanted to have his faith and eat it too.

    And so after making a big song and dance about being willing to forsake his brilliant football career and all the gold and glory that came with it, he decided that he’d actually still like the money thanks very much and sued a punch-drunk Rugby Australia for an eye-watering $14 million – a figure pumped up to the rafters by the humble Folau’s conviction that he was a sure bet to become captain of the Wallabies and rake in those big sponsorship bucks once more.

    Even more nauseating is that this narcissistic crusade was bankrolled by thousands of ordinary Australians who genuinely believed that Folau was fighting for free speech – perhaps the only good faith shown in this sorry saga.

    Nothing could have been further from the truth. Thanks to Rugby Australia folding like a house of cards and offering him an apology and a confidential multimillion-dollar payout no legal precedent has been set and no principle has been determined. The only thing that changed was that Folau got an apology and walked away with even more money.

    Indeed, if Folau had any genuine interest in protecting freedom of religion or freedom of speech for anyone other than himself, he would have insisted the matter go to open court so these issues could finally be settled by law. Instead, yet again, he took the money and ran.

    After all the disruption, all the upset, all the donations and all the offence, the only person who benefited in the end was old Izzy-or-isn’t-he himself. Who knew being a martyr was such a nice little earner?

    But of course the only reason Folau has been able to walk away from this with both his pockets and ego bulging is because he was blessed enough to stumble across the only entity in Australia as obsessed with public pontifications as he was – but even more incompetent at standing by them.

    Say what you like about Folau, at least he seems to believe the dumb shit he says. By contrast Rugby Australia, like so many institutions these days, appears desperate to say all the right words without having any idea what they actually mean.

    How else could you possibly explain the nonsensical ramblings of CEO Raelene Castle in the aftermath of the fiasco.

    “No we didn’t get it wrong,” she said, a day after Rugby Australia apologised to Folau and his family – apparently for getting it right.

    “At the end of the day we stood up for the values of Rugby Australia,” she said, a day after they refused to go to court to stand up for the values of Rugby Australia.

    Frankly, RA can’t have it both ways: Either the sacking was wrong or the settlement was. Yet this is an organisation that when offered the choice between two crap alternatives somehow managed to do both.

    Whatever this sorry saga teaches us, and I’m not sure it’s much, it is certainly not a victory for free speech and it is certainly not a victory for values. If anything it is further proof that precious few people in public life have the courage of their convictions and none of them was in that mediation room.

    On that note, it will be interesting to see what Folau does with his reported millions once the lawyers have had their lunches.

    The only Christian thing to do would be to donate it to the poor – and if Izzy won’t take my word for it, perhaps he’ll listen to the bloke whose every word he claims to follow:

    “Again I tell you,” he said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

    Joe Hildebrand is Editor-at-Large for News.com.au and co-host of Studio 10, weekdays from 8.30am on Channel 10. Continue the conversation @Joe_Hildebrand

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