Is social media a blessing or a curse? Over the past several years, it seems as though the ability to make our thoughts and feelings instantly and widely known is more of the latter and less of the former.
Israel Folau would have obviously been better off if he had never decided to make his opinion regarding those who chose a different lifestyle than his to himself.
If he had spoken, he could have been told to keep his mouth shut.
What do you tell someone who uses social media to cast aspersions in the direction of a militant victim group?
Keep you thumbs where they belong?
As the result of some recent online posts where Folau made some people upset, he is under the microscope of Raelene Castle and Rugby Australia, something that may have an impact on his rugby playing with the NSW Waratahs and his future prospects of selection for the national side.
After many incidents over the past years, it should be crystal clear, even to the dimmest amongst us, that politics, sex and religion are touchy subjects that should be avoided by those who have the attention of the populace for any reason.
As a high profile athlete, Folau did not gain anything by expressing his opinion on the fate of gay people, but he stands to lose, even if only the public’s perception of him.
The backlash over his recent comments has been immediate. Folau had to sneak into RA headquarters to meet with Castle and others who have a stake in the matter.
He may have to think twice before using Instagram to vent.
Castle was reported to say, “Israel’s gone away to think. For him, he’s proud of what he is and what he stands for. He wants to make sure that we are not asking him to compromise those beliefs but at the same time we explained to him this is challenging for us.”
The only somewhat safe group at which to direct criticism these days is old, white guys, and that group may someday realise that it is either close or is already enjoying minority status, which could make them sacrosanct as well.