How to (Stupidly) Throw Your Career Away

Israel Folau - Rugby great and hater

We’ve all gone on to social media and spread a message of irritation or disgruntlement at some real or perceived injustice in the world.

But the minute we’ve spread anti-social words that may be construed as hatred, baiting or intolerance, they’re out there for the world to see and potential employers to read one day.

Two people have lost their lucrative jobs in the matter of a week for simply not thinking before they tweet.  Come on, do you not know that as a high profile sport or TV personality, your every action in public is going to be scrutinised and pounced on?

Actress Shila Iqbal was last week fired from her TV role on Emmerdale after tweets going back as far as 2013 when she was still at college recently surfaced. As a teenager, she obviously didn’t think about the future repercussions of her homophobic and racist rants and has now been outed, despite her pleas of this being the actions of a teen.

One Tweet said: ‘Do not tweet me you gay’ and another said (referring to negroes): ‘I know too many noisy n****s”.

We need fewer of her like around.

The other, perhaps higher profile (and judging by the reactions of fellow rugby players, has created a huge storm.

On 12 April, The NSW Rugby Union issued a terse statement to the fact that they had “stood down Israel Folau from all player duties until further notice.”

“Go directly to Hell. Do not pass begin. Do not collect $200”

This came after a joint statement the day before from his Super Rugby franchise and Rugby Australia following a tweet in which Folau, a deeply religious man and a legend of the sport, called for homosexuals, fornicators, atheist, among others, to ‘repent’ their evil ways of face going to hell.

It is not the first time Folau has been hauled over the carpet for voicing his concerns at anyone who isn’t as religious or clean as he is.

Part of the statement read: “Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.

“As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.

“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”

The former Rugby League star was rumoured to make a return to the sport where he cut his teeth with an oval ball, but it appears he may find himself in the sporting wilderness for his stated beliefs.

A statement from the Australian Rugby League Committee read: “Israel Folau fails the NRL’s inclusiveness culture, which is a policy strongly supported by the ARLC. The ARLC, therefore, would not support his registration to play NRL”.

Don’t forget: Once you’ve tweeted it, you can’t unsay it.


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