Sport

Aussie Rules Football: Barracking not Allowed

“A funny creature is the snake: he spends his winters not awake. He stretches in his long, thin bed and brews up poison in his head.
The human is a different sort: he spends his winters watching sport. He gathers forth in concrete stands and empties out his poison glands”

– Michael Leunig

Many years ago, I worked in Melbourne with a newly arrived Brit. When he went to his first Aussie rules football game, he was amazed: fans of the opposing teams were allowed to mingle freely. That would never happen at a British soccer match, he said. In fact, organisers had to stagger the opening of gates after matches, so that opposing fans wouldn’t even mix on the train home.

The fact is that, despite Aussie rules fans’ propensity to empty out their poison glands (aka “barracking”), AFL crowds are remarkably well-behaved. But that’s not good enough for the AFL organisers, who apparently won’t be content until fans stay silently in their seats, occasionally clapping politely.

But the AFL’s latest gambit, “Behavioural Awareness” officers patrolling the stands like schoolmarms, is a step too far for fans.

Leading Victorian criminal defence lawyer Rob Stary…was staggered by what many feel is a security overkill given reports approximately two fans per 10,000 attending games are evicted.

“There’s more behaviour monitors and security at the Dogs v Blues game than at a terrorism trial,” he wrote on social media. “…What have they done to the game?”

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Open letter to Cody Walker: Your mouth’s closed but you’re still whining

We pay actors to stand in front of a camera and play pretends. We pay sportspeople to run around after a ball or jump over things. They are not paid their mega-bucks to shoot their yaps off and lecture and browbeat us all with their half-witted opinions.

Some are learning the hard way the truth of the adage, “get woke, go broke”. American football and sports broadcaster ESPN lost, big-time, when they embraced the hissy-fits of overpaid whingers like Colin Kaepernik. Undeterred, a handful of Australian rugby players are trying for their little moment of attention, too.

Just in case all that praise and attention from the ABC, The Guardian and your sport’s politically correct hangers-on has gone to your head, let me try to tell you as honestly and kindly as I can what I think of your refusal to sing our National Anthem at the big game last night. I reckon that I might be speaking on behalf of the great majority of your fellow Australians in doing so.

Basically, you should be deeply embarrassed.

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Whaleoil sports quiz

Aussie rules really is softer than rugby

The longstanding rivalry between rugby and Australian Rules football is extending to how puritanically “offended” each code can be by the behaviour of players and fans. Just when you thought Rugby Australia had plumbed the depths of self-righteous political correctness, the AFL says, “Hold my skinny soy latte”.

Not only is the AFL trying to resurrect the sorry saga of Adam Goodes – insisting, against all evidence, that fans were “racist” for booing the former Swans star – but now they are going after fans on behalf of the follically-challenged.

A fan was booted from Marvel [Stadium] during half-time of the Blues’ win over the Lions in relation to comments he made towards umpire Matthew Nicholls as the official left the playing arena at the long break.

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An error in judgement will cost Rugby Australia dearly

Top Aussie rugby player Israel Folau was sacked by CEO Raeleen Castle solely because she mistakenly believes that Folau hates homosexuals. Her “evidence” was Folau posting a scripture on his Twitter feed saying drunkards, adulterers, liars, thieves, fornicators and other biblical sinners, as well as homosexuals, would go to hell if they did not repent. This is not something Folau takes lightly; he preaches this from the pulpit of his home church.

Castle could, and should, have handled this quite differently. Reminding ultra-sensitive gay players that Folau had not launched a personal attack on them and offering mediation for hurt feelings would have been a good start. But that wasn’t all. Apparently Folau’s comments will tip young gay men into killing themselves.

“Rugby league legend Ian Roberts, who was the first elite rugby league player in the world to come out as gay, said the comments were particularly harmful because “there are literally [gay] kids in the suburbs killing themselves … [they’re] confused, not knowing how to deal with it, these type of remarks … can and do push people over the edge.”

The Guardian

It’s a stretch to say scripture condemning homosexuality pushes gay kids over the edge, particularly when they probably give the Bible no credence at all and certainly don’t take it literally as Folau does.

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Sports quiz

Map of the day

Map showing the boundaries and colours of the 26 regional rugby unions.
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Folau fights back with multimillion-dollar lawsuit

The go-to excuse for those defending Rugby Australia’s indefensible persecution of Israel Folau is “but he broke the rules of his contract!” This is a weak excuse, not least for the fact that it is arguable that he did so at all. Moreover, a contract cannot be in breach of the law. Indeed, no contract can be used to override human rights – otherwise, people could perfectly legally sign a contract of life-long slavery.

Consequently, Folau is fighting back.

Dumped Wallabies star Israel Folau is seeking up to $10 million in damages from Rugby Australia in a lawsuit that will claim his contract termination was “unlawful” and cost him the “best years” of his sporting career.

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Whaleoil sports quiz

Rugby Australia is killing Australian rugby

As US cable sports giant ESPN learned the hard way, “get woke, go broke” is more than a meme: it’s a harsh, dollars-and-cents reality. Corporate sports and entertainment giants indulge far-left, “progressive” fantasies at their peril. As ESPN eschewed sports commentary for “woke” political agitation, in tune with the Trump-derangement of the rest of the legacy media, millions of subscribers walked. Similarly, as the “take a knee” controversy engulfed American football, crowd numbers plunged.

Rugby Australia has learned nothing from these debacles.

As the Israel Folau fiasco threatens to engulf and potentially sink Australian rugby, the rugby family is losing patience while the game’s administration is losing any semblance of support.

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