There are many reasons you might not like Israel Folau.
If you're a "progressive" unbeliever, you might be offended by him quoting Scripture listing homosexual behaviour as one of many sins condemning unbelievers to a place you don't believe in called hell.
If you're a "progressive believer", you might be offended by rumours of him not believing in the Holy Trinity or some other wrong teaching which is dissonant to orthodox Christianity.
If you're a right-of-Stalin believer with no illusions about your feelings changing God's eternal Word and no desire to publicly scrutinise another believer's doctrinal differences, you still may have rathered Israel Folau was a little more polished in his preaching.
But whether or not you like or dislike Israel Folau, what he says or how he says it, is entirely irrelevant to the most important question the various Australia rugby league clubs and the NRL's board and CEO must ask themselves urgently:
Why should the NRL let him play football?
The decimated ratings and revenues of American sports codes which have embraced political virtue-signalling is evidence of the truism, "go woke: go broke".
It's not that sports fans are "right wing". Of course they're as diverse as most massive markets.
Sports fans just want sporting excellence from their sport clubs. Last year was exhausting for everyone, from the media obsessive compulsive hatred of Trump, to their description of 10 months of race rioting, looting, arson and murder as "mostly peaceful" – sports was hoped to be a refuge from non-stop politcs.
The anticipation of amazing ratings was large after covid deprived fans of anything but repeats. But fans tuning in to the NBA just saw more politics and heard more faux moral superiority and ratings actually plummeted by 45%. Tuning in to escape the pandemic and politics doesn't work when players take the knee and plaster their jerseys to support the extremist Black Lives Matter corporation, so they tune out again nearly as quickly.
The lesson for the NRL, in case common sense isn't that common, is stick to your knitting. Clubs struggling to field enough talent shouldn't be offering advice to Israel Folau. They should be angrily demanding the NRL executives get out of their road and let them field the best team possible, including players whose politics are distasteful to shrill elites determined to be offended.
Code and club CEOs should be telling fans, "We're in the business of entertaining on the field and winning games. Our job isn't to scrutinise footballers' sermons off the field or police their politics on their private social media channels. Don't do anything illegal and it's none of our business."
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