Maybe Rugby Australia did have the right to sack Folau as a matter of contract law (or maybe not, but that’s for the courts to decide). The likes of Qantas and ANZ can direct sponsorship money wherever they like, and they wouldn’t be the first big corporates to engage in such asinine virtue-signalling. GoFundMe is a private platform, and may very well have been within its rights under its own terms of service to boot out Folau’s fundraising appeal, hypocritical and selective as that may have been.
But just because those organisations could have done what they did doesn’t mean that they should have. As a matter of public policy, the Folau affair is a dead end, but as a cultural issue, it is troubling. It’s another front in what the left derisively write off as the ‘culture wars’, in a world in which what can and can’t be said (by force of law or otherwise) is becoming increasingly limited.
And here is where Phelps is dead wrong: The media feeding frenzy created by the Folau case is not a ‘rally point’ seized upon by the right. If the left are frustrated by the amount of attention Folau is getting – and no doubt they probably are – then they only have themselves to blame.
As many have noted, if Rugby Australia had simply issued a statement distancing themselves from Folau’s views and moved on, then his original Instagram post would have been long forgotten by now. But by overreacting, the Rugby Australia – and the ‘inclusivity’ zealots egging them on – have turned one man’s particular religious beliefs into a full-blown national brouhaha.
They have to perform for their peer group, though. Let the backlash become serious enough to remind them that their peers’ opinions aren’t the only ones to matter.