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James Child on the LGBT Sport Podcast


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I had a long conversation on here a year or two back about Hardaker.  My view was that he had burned his chances while another poster said we (as a sport) had a duty of care to support him.

If a player has an addiction or other issues then yes, let's support them and provide rehabilitation. 

But knowing now that Hardaker used homophobic language to abuse one of the very few people in our sport who was known to be gay then the sport only had one duty.  To dismiss him.

I wouldn't tolerate homophobic language towards anyone in my workplace (let alone a gay colleague) and it would be instant dismissal for gross misconduct. 

The fact Hardaker is still playing professionally is a disgrace in my opinion. We cannot tolerate such things if we want to be recognised as an open, welcoming and family focused sport.

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9 minutes ago, thebrewxi said:

 Hardaker just comes across as not very nice.

maybe a drunk or drugged Hardaker comes across as not very nice like most laddish lads do in their early 20s - if i can un fastening him  from the trl crucifix for a moment am sure he's a good bloke really 

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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Its funny this comes up now, was having a conversation about Marcus Rashford and his impact, part of the conversation was everyone was along the lines that everyone should have a hero who is like them, whether that's colour, disability or sexuality. I loved the rainbow flags appearing when Catalans visited. BBC NW have been running a week of items on the local news about LGBTQ+ month and experiences of coming out. We have teams like Canalsiders who have visited Salford games and hopefully made to feel welcome.

In the ideal world "coming out" would be a thing of the past as everyone gets on with life without fear.

All I care about is how well he does the job and that others allow him to do so.

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4 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

maybe a drunk or drugged Hardaker comes across as not very nice like most laddish lads do in their early 20s - if i can un fastening him  from the trl crucifix for a moment am sure he's a good bloke really 

Nah.... he int johnny lad.... bit of a nob

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2 minutes ago, Robin Evans said:

Nah.... he int johnny lad.... bit of a nob

let he among us who is without a bit of a nobbness cast the first stone

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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Last season the bloke had to referee a player who gave him homophobic abuse and someone who thinks he will go to hell when he dies for the crime of his sexuality. He reffed in front of crowds that had been fined for homophobic chants and a few more that will have had more than a couple of bad eggs.

No one's trying to say things haven't got better but to pretend everything's fine I cannot comprehend.

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I was born to run a club like this. Number 1, I do not spook easily, and those who think I do, are wasting their time, with their surprise attacks.

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2 hours ago, zylya said:

You're literally responding to a gay man telling you that it's been a problem for him personally. He literally told you how uncomfortable it made him.

Just because things are better than they used to be, it doesn't mean that problem has gone away.

The thing is, if you're in a crowd of 10,000 people and one person gives you abuse (homophobic, racist, sexist or whatever) then that's going to cause the person on the receiving end to have a bad experience. I'm not trying to claim that there's a MAJORITY of homophobic, racist, sexist or whatever else people. But all it takes is one bad actor for someone to feel that this sport isn't for them. And that's not good enough. It's easy to say "well it's only 1 person in 10,000" or "it hardly ever happens" but every time it does happen, that's someone who feels rejected from our sport and it's not a position anyone should have to find themselves in.

Sorry but what you're hoping for there is utopia and it's never gonna happen - ever. You have to accept some people just will not like you, for a myriad of reasons. Saying things are pretty much the same as they used to be is to totally ignore all the changes that have happened in recent years regarding people's views on sexuality. 

Look at the soaps for example, what used to be a big talking point (eg gay couple in a soap) doesn't even register now - you don't even think anything of it. No, things aren't perfect but being gay isn't the big deal or hindrance it was not that many years ago. That's pretty incredible progress, not to be dismissed because a very very very small percentage of people don't see it like that.

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11 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Sorry but what you're hoping for there is utopia and it's never gonna happen - ever. You have to accept some people just will not like you, for a myriad of reasons. Saying things are pretty much the same as they used to be is to totally ignore all the changes that have happened in recent years regarding people's views on sexuality. 

Look at the soaps for example, what used to be a big talking point (eg gay couple in a soap) doesn't even register now - you don't even think anything of it. No, things aren't perfect but being gay isn't the big deal or hindrance it was not that many years ago. That's pretty incredible progress, not to be dismissed because a very very very small percentage of people don't see it like that.

Have to admit I am a little narked about the TV show ' it's a sin ' as the casting of gay people only of the gay characters is a bit naughty , if someone suggested gay actors wouldn't be considered for straight roles , all hell would break out 

Doubt this thread will last long on here now 

 

Edited by GUBRATS
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there is a person who comes in our pub (when its open) who has turned from a girl to a boy - they never stop going on about it - constantly  pulling up their polo shirt to show their chest where the removals have took place - ok - fine for a while - but then it never stops - to the point of "no one is interested" - "shut up about it now" the only person making an issue of this is you by constantly banging on about it!

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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12 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Sorry but what you're hoping for there is utopia and it's never gonna happen - ever. You have to accept some people just will not like you, for a myriad of reasons. Saying things are pretty much the same as they used to be is to totally ignore all the changes that have happened in recent years regarding people's views on sexuality. 

Look at the soaps for example, what used to be a big talking point (eg gay couple in a soap) doesn't even register now - you don't even think anything of it. No, things aren't perfect but being gay isn't the big deal or hindrance it was not that many years ago. That's pretty incredible progress, not to be dismissed because a very very very small percentage of people don't see it like that.

It's not enough to be 'tolerant'. Tolerance is the absolute barest minimum.

The people who remember - as opposed to having to find out - that there really was outrage all across the media that EastEnders had the softest, most vanilla, gay man in it weren't even born in time for the disaster of the RLWC in 2000.

So credit to people like Keighley who are prepared to be visibly welcoming as opposed to thinking, "Oh well, no one's going to punch you in the face, and only a few people might abuse you to your face" is even close to enough.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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4 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

there is a person who comes in our pub (when its open) who has turned from a girl to a boy - they never stop going on about it - constantly  pulling up their polo shirt to show their chest where the removals have took place - ok - fine for a while - but then it never stops - to the point of "no one is interested" - "shut up about it now" the only person making an issue of this is you by constantly banging on about it!

I'll take THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED for one hundred pounds, please

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Just now, gingerjon said:

It's not enough to be 'tolerant'. Tolerance is the absolute barest minimum.

The people who remember - as opposed to having to find out - that there really was outrage all across the media that EastEnders had the softest, most vanilla, gay man in it weren't even born in time for the disaster of the RLWC in 2000.

So credit to people like Keighley who are prepared to be visibly welcoming as opposed to thinking, "Oh well, no one's going to punch you in the face, and only a few people might abuse you to your face" is even close to enough.

Widnes had Rainbow Laces as a sponsor in our last year in Super League. Spoke to quite a few people who ordinarily would buy a shirt who said they wouldn't as a result. And a few more who never buy shirts but really wanted people to know they wouldn't get one. 

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I was born to run a club like this. Number 1, I do not spook easily, and those who think I do, are wasting their time, with their surprise attacks.

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20 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

I'll take THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED for one hundred pounds, please

calling me a liar now? thanks- i wouldn't go as far as to name people specifically - but you really need to get out more - can't remember the persons female name but the male name is now callum (looks like ronnie barker) - married to a female who was once married to a male - i know you don't like me gingerjon but i don't lie on here- why would i? 

Edited by graveyard johnny
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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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17 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

calling me a liar now? thanks- i wouldn't go as far as to name people specifically - but you really need to get out more - can't remember the persons female name but the male name is now callum - married to a female who was once married to a male - i know you don't like me gingerjon but i don't lie on here- why would i? 

It's par for the course with John , if it doesn't suit him , call you a liar , done it with me , that's why I don't engage with him anymore 

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2 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

It's par for the course with John , if it doesn't suit him , call you a liar , done it with me , that's why I don't engage with him anymore 

i know, ostrich head in the sand mentality - cant see it so its not there- quite sad really - there is a few here like that 

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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42 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

there is a person who comes in our pub (when its open) who has turned from a girl to a boy - they never stop going on about it - constantly  pulling up their polo shirt to show their chest where the removals have took place - ok - fine for a while - but then it never stops - to the point of "no one is interested" - "shut up about it now" the only person making an issue of this is you by constantly banging on about it!

Your local has the most diverse bunch of people I’ve ever heard of

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54 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

It's not enough to be 'tolerant'. Tolerance is the absolute barest minimum.

The people who remember - as opposed to having to find out - that there really was outrage all across the media that EastEnders had the softest, most vanilla, gay man in it weren't even born in time for the disaster of the RLWC in 2000.

So credit to people like Keighley who are prepared to be visibly welcoming as opposed to thinking, "Oh well, no one's going to punch you in the face, and only a few people might abuse you to your face" is even close to enough.

You are taking the handful of people who might actually punch someone for being gay as some sort of standard. That's not borne out in reality though, as demonstrated by the acceptance of gay people almost everywhere. The people who might do this, will do it regardless and if not that will find another reason.

 

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31 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

You are taking the handful of people who might actually punch someone for being gay as some sort of standard. That's not borne out in reality though, as demonstrated by the acceptance of gay people almost everywhere. The people who might do this, will do it regardless and if not that will find another reason.

 

 

24 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

You cannot insulate RL from the world and the people in it , fortunately they are very few and far between 

Once again, with respect, these are the types of comments that lead to zero action being taken and holding the sport back in making progress.

"It is society and not Rugby League" means we can wash our hands of any evidence of homophobia or bigotry in our sport and simply attribute it to human nature. 

We can do something.  And that is to make a commitment to investigate every issue and punish every single person who is guilty. We have a chance to lead and drive change, not just accept it will happen.

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

 

Once again, with respect, these are the types of comments that lead to zero action being taken and holding the sport back in making progress.

"It is society and not Rugby League" means we can wash our hands of any evidence of homophobia or bigotry in our sport and simply attribute it to human nature. 

We can do something.  And that is to make a commitment to investigate every issue and punish every single person who is guilty. We have a chance to lead and drive change, not just accept it will happen.

I don't advocate doing nothing though, if somebody has abused somebody for (in this case) their sexuality, then they should have to face the music.

That's not the same thing as saying nothing has changed and gay people aren't in a much better position in society than they were, say 20 years ago. 

This keeps being ignored but I absolutely don't have an issue with gay people. I have been involved in physical violence while defending some (when it really was difficult to come out).

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I’ll try to keep this brief and then leave it at that I think, because frankly I don’t really enjoy being told my life experiences don’t count because things were worse in the 80s, or (bizarrely) that people with severe learning disabilities have it harder(?!).

Firstly, whilst I never actually talked about feeling physically threatened, some have still tried to claim like it never happens anyway. And without wanting to drag this away from RL and into the murky realms of a politics thread, I feel I need to point out that studies even within the last year have shown that around half of all gay people in the UK fear holding hands in public because they worry about the reaction they’ll get, and LGBT+ related hate crime has risen for 2 years running. Tell the 15,000 victims of homophobic hate crime last year alone that it doesn’t matter because it rarely happens anyway, and it’s well within acceptable limits actually. You don’t have to worry that if you kiss your girlfriend or wife in public that you might just happen to do so in front of the 1 in 1000 who will decide to kick your head for it. I do. And so do many, many others.
 

Secondly, away from talk of assaults and actual hate crime, I specifically stated that I was talking about “low-level homophobia”. The sort of thing that many straight people won’t even notice, let alone do anything about. Such as words like poof, fag, queer, gay etc all being used as casual, catch-all insults and go completely unchallenged. As well as the regular jokes about gays and gay sex (some straight men seem absolutely obsessed with what we do to each other for some reason). You’ll notice I’m trying to personalise this whenever possible. Not that long since a teammate of mine, before I came out, was defending his use of homophobic language to me because he ‘knew’ that I wasn’t gay, so it didn’t matter. You go through that - someone justifying their intolerance straight to your face without even realising it. And leaving you feeling completely powerless to respond honestly. You go though that, and then tell me it’s not a problem anymore. You spend years hearing the same jokes, comments and attitudes repeated every week, knowing that they’re about you, and can’t tell anyone. Hearing the same implied message over and over again, that someone like you doesn’t fit in here. Again, most of the people who do this won’t even realise the potential impact they can have. It’s just banter, or no one here is gay anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Well, it matters to me. And although I would never claim to speak for all Queer people, I know several others who it felt the same way to the point they stopped playing.

 

Which brings me back to my original point: having more LGBT people involved at the top of the game feels significant to someone like me. Seeing Keegan Hirst talk about being gay was huge in my coming to terms with my sexuality a few years ago. Seeing someone, from West Yorkshire, similar accent to me, a middle unit player, like me, who looks and acts nothing like the stereotype, like me, talking about being gay, and a professional rugby player helped me to realise that it was OK, I was “allowed” to be gay. Because, whilst gay people are far more represented in the media than they used to be, seeing one who was anything like me, was very rare, and when they were it was often as a joke or in a “you didn’t expect that did you?” kind of way. Which still just reinforces stereotypes, just in a different way.

 

i know this has been a lot longer than I intended, so for anyone who has read all they way through, thanks. And all I ask is that anyone who’s immediate reaction to this story is to downplay it or question why it matters, just examine your own attitudes. Just question why you think that. You may know gay people, but have you ever talked to them about this sort of thing, about any micro-aggressions they face? Or do you just assume they don’t get them because they don’t mention them to you? Because evidence says they happen, people just don’t tend to talk about them often. We’re more likely to talk about them amongst ourselves than to our straight friends.

 

i think that will do. And....post.

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5 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I don't advocate doing nothing though, if somebody has abused somebody for (in this case) their sexuality, then they should have to face the music.

That's not the same thing as saying nothing has changed and gay people aren't in a much better position in society than they were, say 20 years ago. 

This keeps being ignored but I absolutely don't have an issue with gay people. I have been involved in physical violence while defending some (when it really was difficult to come out).

Let me assure you that I have absolutely no inclination that you have an issue with gay people.  Far from it.

But I am of the opinion that relying on saying we have come a long way excuses us in taking action today.

I am reminded of when a group of BAME players recorded emotional videos detailing their experiences in the game. We all wrung our hands at the time but has anything changed in the year since?

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2 minutes ago, Would-Be Halfback said:

I’ll try to keep this brief and then leave it at that I think, because frankly I don’t really enjoy being told my life experiences don’t count because things were worse in the 80s, or (bizarrely) that people with severe learning disabilities have it harder(?!).

Firstly, whilst I never actually talked about feeling physically threatened, some have still tried to claim like it never happens anyway. And without wanting to drag this away from RL and into the murky realms of a politics thread, I feel I need to point out that studies even within the last year have shown that around half of all gay people in the UK fear holding hands in public because they worry about the reaction they’ll get, and LGBT+ related hate crime has risen for 2 years running. Tell the 15,000 victims of homophobic hate crime last year alone that it doesn’t matter because it rarely happens anyway, and it’s well within acceptable limits actually. You don’t have to worry that if you kiss your girlfriend or wife in public that you might just happen to do so in front of the 1 in 1000 who will decide to kick your head for it. I do. And so do many, many others.
 

Secondly, away from talk of assaults and actual hate crime, I specifically stated that I was talking about “low-level homophobia”. The sort of thing that many straight people won’t even notice, let alone do anything about. Such as words like poof, fag, queer, gay etc all being used as casual, catch-all insults and go completely unchallenged. As well as the regular jokes about gays and gay sex (some straight men seem absolutely obsessed with what we do to each other for some reason). You’ll notice I’m trying to personalise this whenever possible. Not that long since a teammate of mine, before I came out, was defending his use of homophobic language to me because he ‘knew’ that I wasn’t gay, so it didn’t matter. You go through that - someone justifying their intolerance straight to your face without even realising it. And leaving you feeling completely powerless to respond honestly. You go though that, and then tell me it’s not a problem anymore. You spend years hearing the same jokes, comments and attitudes repeated every week, knowing that they’re about you, and can’t tell anyone. Hearing the same implied message over and over again, that someone like you doesn’t fit in here. Again, most of the people who do this won’t even realise the potential impact they can have. It’s just banter, or no one here is gay anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Well, it matters to me. And although I would never claim to speak for all Queer people, I know several others who it felt the same way to the point they stopped playing.

 

Which brings me back to my original point: having more LGBT people involved at the top of the game feels significant to someone like me. Seeing Keegan Hirst talk about being gay was huge in my coming to terms with my sexuality a few years ago. Seeing someone, from West Yorkshire, similar accent to me, a middle unit player, like me, who looks and acts nothing like the stereotype, like me, talking about being gay, and a professional rugby player helped me to realise that it was OK, I was “allowed” to be gay. Because, whilst gay people are far more represented in the media than they used to be, seeing one who was anything like me, was very rare, and when they were it was often as a joke or in a “you didn’t expect that did you?” kind of way. Which still just reinforces stereotypes, just in a different way.

 

i know this has been a lot longer than I intended, so for anyone who has read all they way through, thanks. And all I ask is that anyone who’s immediate reaction to this story is to downplay it or question why it matters, just examine your own attitudes. Just question why you think that. You may know gay people, but have you ever talked to them about this sort of thing, about any micro-aggressions they face? Or do you just assume they don’t get them because they don’t mention them to you? Because evidence says they happen, people just don’t tend to talk about them often. We’re more likely to talk about them amongst ourselves than to our straight friends.

 

i think that will do. And....post.

I read until the end and it was a very interesting insight into something that, I think, is probably impossible to understand unless you have those lived experiences.

I consider myself to be quite inclusive, but this thread and especially your post makes me question whether I am. I wonder whether I have internalised prejudices that come out that I am not even aware of.

Onto James Child, from what I have read today it paints a quite ugly picture of our sport's historical failings in dealing with homophobic abuse.  Whilst it is nobody's business whether he 'comes out' publicly or not, it is pleasing if he encourages others to feel more welcome in our sport.

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2 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Let me assure you that I have absolutely no inclination that you have an issue with gay people.  Far from it.

But I am of the opinion that relying on saying we have come a long way excuses us in taking action today.

I am reminded of when a group of BAME players recorded emotional videos detailing their experiences in the game. We all wrung our hands at the time but has anything changed in the year since?

I'd say what Johnoco was intimating is that things are better than they were , and are getting better all the time , it is impossible to do it overnight , that is if we are ever to eradicate it , which personally I doubt , as I put , there are just too many nasty people out there 

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11 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

I'd say what Johnoco was intimating is that things are better than they were , and are getting better all the time , it is impossible to do it overnight , that is if we are ever to eradicate it , which personally I doubt , as I put , there are just too many nasty people out there 

Pretty much.

Not that there aren’t issues but that you aren’t going to go from having X thousand issues a year, to zero, it just won’t happen. And to dismiss progress, such as we have had in recent years is IMO unrealistic.

It’s probably an ideal time to hop off from what has been mainly a good discussion, as we know from experience where these things end up. Thanks and all the best.

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