It looks like it’s time for each international airport in Australia to put up signs saying “Welcome to Australia! Where we allow everyone to express themselves but not when it comes to peoples religion or race/culture”. There have been two major issues which has divided Australians, and being an Australian, it’s shaped how I view Australia. These issues are with AFL (Australian Rules Football) star Adam Goodes and Australian Rugby Union player Israel Folau. If you are not from Australia or haven’t heard as to why these are major issues in Australia, I’ll go through both issues a bit more.
Racism of Indigenous Australian Rules football star Adam Goodes
The AFL has a large number of Indigenous players in it’s national sport, Adam Goodes is one of them, each year the competition dedicates one round for the celebration of Indigenous players and culture.
On Indigenous round in 2013, a 13 year old girl (who was sitting in the front row) yelled out at Goodes calling him an ape. Now let me make it clear again, on Indigenous round in 2013 an Indigenous AFL player (Adam Goodes) was called an APE by a 13 year old girl who was sitting in the front row. Adam Goodes pointed this girl out and security escorted her out of the stadium, but the damage had been done. Adam Goodes tried to continue playing out the game, but was mentally hurt too much to continue. His team won, but he never joined his team mates in the celebrations.
In 2014, Adam Goodes was awarded the Australian Of the Year for his community work in Aboriginal communities, he took this opportunity to speak up about racism and yet was ridiculed for calling out racism in 2013.
In 2015, again on Indigenous round, he took the opportunity to express himself and his culture and did a war cry dance with an imaginary spear towards the crowd. After this, he was booed continuously by opposition supporters when he touched the ball, every week. Adam Goodes thought it was racially motivated and got extremely hurt by it, he had enough and lost his love for the sport and retired early. Many supporters of the AFL are saying they were booing him because he is being a baby by apparently acting to receive free kicks, but almost all players in the AFL competition act to receive free kicks.
Personally, the booing was indeed racially motivated because Goodes spoke up about racism, all other indigenous players did nothing at all. The fact the booing occurred continuously, each week, is bullying. Which is not on!
If a player does something which angers the crowd (say knocking out an opposition player) in that game, only then is it acceptable to boo that player for the rest of that game only.
Rugby Union player Israel Folau being targeted as homophobic after expressing his religious beliefs on an Instagram post
Israel Folau is an orthodox Christian Rugby Union player who posted a religious image on his instagram page that advices those who commit a number of sins to repent as they will go to hell if they continue. Due to this post saying homosexuals among others will end up in hell if they don’t repent, he had his Rugby Union contract torn and will never be allowed to play the sport he loves and he received a heap of hate from the public of Australia.
He took it into a legal battle with Rugby Australia, they reached a conclusion in which both Israel Folau and Rugby Australia were happy with, but the damage had already been done, more so the impact of how I see Australia with the behaviour of the Australian public.
As a Christian, I can definitely say that we do believe that homosexuality is a sin and they will go to hell if they don’t ask for God’s forgiveness. If another Christian believes otherwise, they will also go to hell as they are going against the bibles teachings. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect homosexual people or people who have different opinions on the issue, its only when the verbal and physical attacks start does it become a further issue, and that’s exactly whats been happening here.
Then there are other things to consider, Raelene Castle (CEO of Rugby Australia) says Inclusiveness is one of their core values. How can they say they are inclusive of all people and then scrap a players contract due to their religious beliefs? That is far from being inclusive of everyone.
The post lists a number of sins, not just homosexual people are recognised as sinners. Why are people making it a problem when it lists a number of things not just homosexuality? I would consider it a problem if it was just targeting homosexual people, but it’s targeting a range of other groups.
Lastly, why are people complaining that people in this list are going hell? I thought everyone looks at heaven and hell as this mythical fake place unless they are Christian or Religious, no one should care about it only those who are religious.
You might be reading this and thinking that this has nothing to do with you because you are not from Australia. True, but this got me angry enough to actually show this is what society is now. But the question is… Why? Why is society so judgmental on peoples opinions? People have a right to express themselves in anyway they want. Everyone has a range of opinions and beliefs, it makes people unique and the differences need to be celebrated. Instead of degrading someones opinions, ask questions as to why they have that opinion, educate yourselves. People say to be yourself and express who you are, how can people do that anymore when we live in a society who is judgemental?
This is not on and society needs to change in someway. This kind of thing damages a persons mental health, like me (being a Christian and with a darker complexion) this has had a negative impact on me. I now see society differently and I'm very scared that I might one day be killed after attending church.
This is the world we live in and it’s definitely not on and we need to learn how to respect each other and recognise what makes us different.