Mailbox: Confused by Super League’s moral outrage

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor:

Hi James,

I hope you are well.

Re: the recent outburst by Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell and the legal action he is threatening due to Catalan signing Israel Folau.

I could almost understand his moral outrage if:-

Hull KR were not partnered with the John Sentamu Academy, the MP and Archbishop of York who openly advised David Cameron to outlaw gay marriage. I wonder what damage to the sport and potential loss of sponsorship this has had?

On one hand, Hudgell is happy to (presumably) receive money to advertise an organisation that shares Folau’s views, yet on the other, he is leading the charge for morality against such views. Could this be more evidence of the self interest that is destroying the sport?

Let’s also not forget, Hudgell also stood by Ben Cockayne after his conviction for assault and later his racist tweets, which instead of sacking him for his offences, he gave him a token fine for the latter and no penalty for the former.

I would like to know why Hudgell believes the punishment for racism is only deemed worthy of a fine; a conviction for assault sees no punishment, yet a homophobic view is worthy of a life time ban from the sport?

The same questions could also be put to many of the other “outraged” SL chairmen, who currently employ players with a myriad of convictions. These convictions are somehow less serious than a homophobic belief?

Whilst most educated and rational people do not share Folau’s views, let’s not forget homosexuality is still illegal in his parents’ home nation (Tonga).

Mike Hopkin

Editor’s comment: Clearly, no one is coming out of this saga in a positive fashion. But somehow, Super League chiefs have somehow managed to drag out their own bad PR episode themselves, when in reality, it should just be Catalans carrying the can for making the poor decision to employ Israel Folau. There are plenty of players in Super League that have been afforded second, third and fourth chances, despite being charged of criminal offences and otherwise. The reality is nothing can be done right now to stop Folau playing for Catalans. So the sooner this whole thing blows over, the better.

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor:


  1. I feel like this whole thing has been blown out of proportion now. I understand the circumstances of what Israel said but it’s in the past now. Players have been given chances and been able to get on with their game. Examples being Ben Barba and Zak Hardaker, and credit to the latter he’s got on with his game and getting back to his best. I feel the situation with Israel is no different, he said what he said and that’s how he feels, I don’t agree with his views but that’s a matter of opinions. I’d just like to get away from all that now and focus on the sport again. There’s a long way to go, it’s early doors of the season.

  2. I completely agree this matter has been completely blown out of proportion now! If someone is brought up a society that does not agree with something many will believe, the same could be said with countries & religion who do not agree with abortion. He issued an apology and that should have been matter closed, we do not have to agree with him, I just hope our sport can put this behind us quickly, there is no need to be waving flags in his face by clubs when they play Catalan, in fact I feel many LGBT people will see it as an insult, when they know it is just being done in the way some clubs will use it. Catalan had the right to ask flags to be moved and not cover advertisers boards at the weekend, sponsors benefit clubs and our sport, Super League were quick to say after the match and say an investigation would be held, time they came out now and backed Catalan!

  3. I am confused and annoyed why quoting passages from the bible should be exploited. The fact that ARL settled the law suit against him showed they could not win in a court of law. That would be the same result in the UK. That’s why the RFL were, presumably, advised not to ban him. Whether you agree with anyone’s opinions is your choice, dont force your opinions on others. That’s why we have freedom of speech,

  4. If he had said a certain group of people should be attacked or killed that would be one thing. But saying they will go to a make believe magic land really just makes himself look stupid. It’s not as bad as what a lot of players have done. Super League should have just said they don’t agree with what he said and he will be banned if he says something like that while here but you can’t stop someone working based on that

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