I applaud the out of court settlement between the Australian Rugby Union and Israel Folau but I hasten to add that the Union doesn’t exactly come out of this looking anything close to squeaky clean and in reality; they could have avoided the whole thing had they not behaved like a bunch of virtue signalling dickheads.

Aussie Rugby CEO Raelene Castle says she didn’t get anything wrong and has no intention of resigning (watch this space because that science is far from settled at this stage) and according to The Australian she said

“It was cheaper to settle his unfair dismissal case than go to trial.

Speaking to the media in Sydney on Thursday morning, a day after Rugby Australia and the sacked Wallaby star agreed to a confidential settlement, Castle said the code’s stakeholders wanted the case resolved to give some certainty instead of it dragging into the new year.

She rejected calls for her resignation and said Rugby Australia “at every stage looked to ensure the very, very key value of inclusiveness stood up’’.

Oh, here we go again “the very, very key value of inclusiveness stood up’’. What absolute tosh. Inclusiveness MUST include Folau’s rights to express his Christian beliefs no matter how much we may disagree with them. How has the “key value of inclusiveness” stood up when you’ve fired a guy for expressing his strongly held personal religious beliefs?

For the sake of accuracy, let’s be really clear about what he posted

The only part widely published is the part about homosexuals going to hell (but only if they don’t repent). It’s a biblical thing and honestly – who really cared then and who really cares now? Churches all over the planet are preaching the same stuff day in and day out and we should be fighting for their right to do so. We should also fight for our right to call it nonsense if we want to. How this ever became an issue for anybody is way beyond me. Call me insensitive if you want to but honestly – really?

Castle has completely dismissed the reported payout figure of $8 million as “wildly inaccurate”.

OK Raelene, so $8 million is wildly inaccurate. You can say that until the cows come home, but it’s a confidential settlement so nobody will ever know if you’re being truthful about that.

Let’s play “join the dots” shall we:

If the cancelled contract was worth $5.7 million, and cancelling it knocked him right out of earning a living playing the game at all, and it will have impacted on sponsorship deals too, and the claim filed was for $14 million… $8 million is looking very much like a reasonably accurate guestimate don’t you think? If it’s “wildly inaccurate”, I’m opting for it being even higher.

I’m also guessing the payout will go up when they retire the CEO’s contract too. It’s hard to see how anybody will be able or willing to work with her, though stranger things have been known to happen in rugby (and in Australia).

Israel Folau not only refused to back down, but he upped the legal ante and won a confidential settlement from the Australian Rugby Union.