The Weekly Cheek
The Weekly Cheek

Episode · 4 months ago

84. 7 Men, 1 Jersey


In this episode, we're talking about the rainbow jersey that rocked the world of seven elite NRL players in the Manly Sea Eagles, and the subsequent bigotry and homophobia that ensued.

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Hello, I'm Christin Paris and Ato, and I'm Hannah Ferguson and where, Co founders of Cheek Media Co. This is the weekly Cheek podcast. Before we start this episode, I would like to acknowledge that we are on stolen lands of the Yagora interual people. Sovereignty was never seated. I'm sitting weird. I was sitting weird too. I'm a bit these. These jeans are so fucking fitted. A little bit. Just button because it's a good fit. It's just when you seated, but I always think it looks weird on the camera. Anyway. What ever, get a grip. Get a grip, nobody look at our jeans. To tuck this in to the couch. Little Sip of coffee and I'll be ready. I'll be with you in a moment. God, we're so professional. All right, welcome back to the weekly cheek welcome back. Today I'm going to call we're Hoy to talk about something that makes me so mad. I thought you would today. I'm going to talk about I was like, sorry, am I invited to this discussion, or is this going to be you talking at me about the SEAGULLS for thirty minutes? Today I'm going to be talking and Asian. Throw to Hannah a question. Wow, I feel valuable straight perspective on this mone you know what, as a straight person I just feel so excluded from this conversation. Sorry, the manly seagulls. Do you mean a man's playing football? At the start of this I'd like to say that I don't care about football and I don't know anything about it and I don't care to learn. I would like to say that I'm not like other girls and I know football, and that is a lie. I do know football, but I'm not proud of that. So that Um, do you want me to man's play into how to unlearned football? That would be incredible. This is what you do, program one of my favorite things that you do is what ball even is that? What's their difference? Seriously, what is the difference of the same fucking shape? There's there's like at least four types. So I'm not going to explain the difference between each of them, but I would say rugby league is bottom tier in yes, in terms of culture. So I would like to start, maybe it perhaps at an unexpected plank and because the thing about the way Australians interact with sport is like, first of all, we're all obsessed with it, especially the footy, and we claim that it's like the one thing that unites us, which I think is absurd because, first of all, fucking go to any public and origin game is on and what time. Many people beat each other up. But I don't actually think that it's marketed as the one thing that unites us. Really, I feel like that's what people claim that it is. See, I just see it as um which is still incorrect. I see it as healthy competition in inverted quotations, which actually means encourages violence, gambling and excess drinking. I think that's the difference interesting because I always think that, like I feel like sport is marketed as like it's supposed. It's allegedly supposed to be like inclusive and Blah, blah, blah, Blah Blah. Well, I think that the thing that unites us is like something like the commoth games of the Olympics, where we're competing against other countries. That's supposed to be a come together sort of thing, but this sort of thing, I think, actually only increases the tone of like the virtual language between different areas in the country. Yes, I think that's what it actually does. Yeah, but I think this proves it these sorts of points where it becomes like a well, I always fucking hated manly anyway. It's like not really the point. So, in case you have been living in blissful ignorance, which good for you, turn off now. Um, the Manly Sea Eagles. They brought up this Special Jersey that has like a rainbow detail on it, Um, and it's like I guess it was a label, like a pride round. Is it what? It's actually not prider and it's actually women in league round. Well, that's what I was going to say. So is do they think at lgbt q and women... like the same thing? No, I don't understand the confusion, but it's interesting that. I think the point to be made about the fact that it was the women's round is that they managed to completely detract, go off course, create a Pride Jersey that's supposed to be like a diversity and inclusion round and I think the chair of the manly seagulls has tried to say come out and say it's not just supposed to be like lgbt Q I a plus. It's supposed to be like all forms of inclusion, all forms of diversity, right, gender, sexuality, Blah, blah, blah. I think that's a little bit too late to be marketing that, because it is a rainbow that's definitely associated with the LGBT plus community. But I think so that was that was why they put like, don't pretend that's why you put it on the share yes, it wasn't like rainbow to mean like everybody. No. And I also think the other thing is that it's just ironic that any time in football, in sporting culture, especially in the male dominated, very violent, very alcoholic culture of Rugby League, anytime they try to do something that is about anyone but men, it becomes about men, like they have like it was the women in League ground and they tried to create a Pride Jersey and what did the entire conversation revolve around men. That is a fucking failure. That it was a fucking failure. And before we get into like the Um the pride stuff, I so I arrived here, it's Saturday morning. I arrived home Um last night and the frinday night foot he was on and it was on in our house, not because anybody, because Chris likes it, but I did talk to my partner who had watched some of it and I saw that the banner said, like women in League ground and I don't keep up with this, so I didn't know that it was happening and I was like, I was like, first of all, if it's women in league, like, wouldn't you put one of wouldn't you show one of the women's games at Primetime, like isn't that like the smallest thing you could do anyway, putting them aside Um? So my partner had said. And so this is like a third hand account because I didn't see it that prior to the game in you know, in the interest of women in League, they had one of the footy players wives, one of the wags Um interviewed her and she had to bring the kids along and the question that was asked by the single, like woman presenter was what do you contribute to rugby league? Are you fucking kidding me, like there are women players that, why are they not being interviewed? And also, like, like I said to I imagine if, like, I was with my partner at some kind of fucking event. And so one went up to him and was like, what do you contribute to cheek? That never fucking happens. Like, why is it her job to contribute to rugby league? She's just married to a Fu footy player. What the what the absolute funk is that? I think what's most disturbing about this, what's disturbed me most this week is seeing men that I know not, not necessarily, defend the opposition to necessarily like lgbt Q, i. A plus rights or existence, not be a total homophope, but try to conceal that with but they have freedom of choice and I don't have the right conversation. I don't think and and to be fair, like I don't think the point of this conversation it at all is about there. I don't think it's about religion, I don't think it's about cultural beliefs. I think it centers on the fact that people are so willing to allow and forgive and just sort of go, oh, you know, it's a difference of opinion. It's fucking not. It's not. This someone's identity and who they want to love and who they are fundamentally as a person. It's not something for you to have an opinion only. It is not a base for... to say, Oh, they, they have a right to their beliefs. I'm sorry, that's not how it works when it comes to fundamental human rights. It's also not how it works when you are a professional sports player who represents your community at an elite level. You do not have the ability to speak like this. And and what disturbs me most is that every time something like this happens, people victimize the men who haven't won the Jersey instead of actually asking the question, which is, how does the community feel about this conversation and the nature of it? Why are we so willing to have the most disgusting conversations at a National Public level that just further victimized the already minority groups? It is like, and as a straight person, I'm like, I can't even imagine being on the receiving end of something like that. Like I literally look at that and go, I can't imagine having to open my phone and read this every day. It's fucking horrifying. And imagine how many like, in terms of like sitistically speaking, how many closeted gay gay men are in the men's team? Absolutely, statistically, there's one player in the mainly team at least, probably who hasn't come out. And what the fire? What does that communicate to young boys in the sport? What does that communicate to young girls in this sport? They're never going to get a go if they reveal who they are and live as who they are. I think that people think that it can just be stuck in this sort of compartment of like, oh well, they're allowed to choose. No, it's about what it communicates to the entire fucking country and the way that this conversation has unfolded in the space of seventy two hours has genuinely made me feel like we've been sent back at least twenty years. It's just reminded me that, like every time we get a step forward, it's just fucking the conversation is five steps behind and it's so confusing, especially existing in the groups that we exist in, which is this is not really a question, like this is fun, what's happened, and then you talk to someone one layer outside of your circle and you're like, Oh my God, the fuck? Yeah, Oh my God, and I think that's the worst part. I think one of the like we were talking about this week and I had to run in with someone where their argument back to me when we were talking about this difference of opinion in terms of the Jersey, was they were like, they got really they sort of arct up, and one of the things they said was like oh well, but my brother's gay, and I was well, Whoa Fun, we've got next thurt over here. I'm sorry, I am so fucking sorry for challenging you on that. Let's stop this conversation right now. That because you know a gay person, which means you can't possibly be homophobic and you can't possibly have a wrong opinion on this jersey. Why is it that when people try to respond to arguments like this, one of the strongest things they have is an association? Also, it is more disgraceful that you are so closely associated with someone who is part of this community, you claim to support them and then you go on fucking facebook and write the most disgusting Shit. Oh my God. The other thing is the people, the people who want to defend these seven players for like religions. They're not even religious. These people are not religious. The people I see defending them in like my like outer circles, like you hate religion, but now it's important. What the Fund is that about? I think it's people thinking that what they're doing by supporting these men is protecting their own freedom of speech or freedom of belief, and that's it's just not the case, and that the thing about the choice is, like, you did have a fucking they had a fucking choice. WHERE THE JERSEY? Don't play? Those are your choices. They made a choice. Where's the FUCKING JERSEY? And I think the thing about like these people who are, who are, in my opinion, homophobes, but like would never, would absolutely recoil at being called that, is because is always, and it's fucking always the old white male boomers who do this. Ship not always, some other people do it as well, and they're even worse. No, they're all the same level of Bab is there like well, I don't care what you are, just don't shove it in my face. I'm sorry, you're wearing a rainbow on a fucking t shirt. We're not making you go out there and funk other men on the field. Go on, bend over, throw that soap, don't just drop it, throw it. The ardiculous are they talking about? Shove it in their face and...

...sorry for living my life. I'm so sorry. I'm much more offended by religion being shoved in my face, which is what they're actually doing us again. Like and talked about this in an article about the abortion stuff. Is this all that's right conserved in the last week's episode? Um, it all comes down to religion. It all comes down to religion and these people who are spouting out and not even fucking religious. But the most interesting part about it, and I think this place into exactly what you're saying, they're not religious. But why? Why does it come back to religion if these people are religious? Why? What is the connection between religion and our ability to forgive or alleviate any guilt or moral standing? If people associate a view with religion, I don't think they're associating it actively. But Homophobia, I believe, is recian religion. But what I'm saying is the people who aren't religious, why are they so willing to go? Well, it's the religious and cultural that's fine, then is that just their cover up for being homophobes? Is it not? Because, because it's not about religion, then for those people I think it's because they're scared that someday they're going to get called out for doing for something, and they want to is it because they want to plateau, like make stop the conversation and its tracks, stop the progression, and this is a way to that, this is a way to diggie heels in. I think it comes from like deep homophobia, and that's it, I guess, like I just because I don't really understand what else it could possibly be. Although actually, and I don't think I haven't seen anyone have this, take whoa breaking, everybody, listen very carefully, I think that there are some men who are I know I'm saying men a lot, but like, let real. I haven't seen any. Honestly, I have not seen any women have to go about this at all, Um, but I'm sure they're out there. Don't worry, equality, Um, I have that. I believe that there are men who genuinely do not give a funk about the rainbow, don't care. Maybe aren't even homophobic, maybe they're open, but they cannot, could not fucking stand the thought that taking those players out meant that their fucking team would lose, and they did. They lost. Well, that was what actually and this is ridiculous, but that's what just the point of me most was on the on Thursday when there was going to be the game. Um, my my housemates and I were like, let's let's sit down and watch it and see when it happens, and I was like nothing's going to happen, because what's going to happen is they're gonna have seven of their gun players out, they're going to lose a few new guys will get a really nice run. Also, my thought this a bit controversial. What if some of the guys that got the call up were not willing to wear the Rainbow Jersey but they were getting a shot? But then don't you think that that, to me, shows that it's like well, they would. I mean, I can't stand for their beliefs, obviously, but I'm like, there you go, there you that just points to the fucking privilege of those men who decided to tap out. Yes, it's just he thought that everyone was going to be like, all right, shut it down, scrap the jerseys, stop everything. We cannot go on without these people and, to be quite honest, I am fucking shocked that they didn't do that. I'm shocked too, but also bare minimum, bare minimum, but still shock. And again, I think it comes back to like Hazzler's apology. Um seagulls coach, I think it was two days before the game. His apology, came out and said, you know, obviously it was centered around you know, we've sort of damage, caused more damage to the groups we were trying to support, blah, blah, blah. But the apology centered on the fact that the players should have been consulted. I. Do you consult them on all the other logo? That's the question, isn't it? And I also think it comes back to like. I think what bothers me, like what literally made me lie awake at night this week was, you know, these questions about well, you don't see them do this when...

...there's a perpetrative domestic violence accused in their team. You don't see this about the sports bet or the drinking and your pinning back. That can't be. That can't mean that the religious argument is valid when those two things are aren't aligned. Like you cannot be against same sex relationships and for alcohol and gambling. That's just not consistent with religious beliefs. Okay, so when we look at this, what is this truly about? What is it? What is it about if these men are so unwilling to go up against other men, but they are so willing to cause a spark, a national conversation that offends entire groups, like huge groups of people in this country who just exist and a legally like to marriage, marry and do whatever the funk they want. We are so far past this conversation. What is this about? It's about power and it's about influence and it's about feeling like you're in control and it's about the protection of masculinity in it's all its fucking toxic glory to me and I think it saddens me because, like what this week represents to me is how far we've got to go until football culture changes and you can have all of the women in league grounds, you can have all of the first nations rounds, you can have all of the fucking fun themes you want, but these people are bigots and the systems protect them. And I'm surprised that manly didn't revoke the Jersey and I'm also extremely surprised that they committed to doing it next year and I don't know what to make of it. I don't know what to do. I can't influence these people. I can't talk to these people, and the fact that men in my life who I think are generally progressive are not even supportive of our line of argument and are more willing to be like, oh, it's their beliefs, is concerning. And you know what I think, and that's been an alarming thing for me, is to see people who would describe themselves as progressive either like openly backing those seven players or saying nothing about it and not like even having conversations in their own spaces. And obviously, if I'm not in a space, I don't know if they're being had. You're not progressive, like, I'm sorry, like a rainbow, come on, stripe, a liberal, a fucking conservative government legislated marriage equality years ago. Like, if you cannot get on board for a fucking rainbow and a t shirt, and I'm know I'm saying t shirt, I think it's funny that you're doing it. I'm doing it's it's been a stripe. It's a stripe, it's a stripe, like, if you don't, you're not fucking progressive. Like please have a long hard look at yourself if that upsets you. These men are so fucking sense, but it's the same conversation that was happening at a time of Israel philow. It's the exact same conversation and it doesn't it doesn't sound to me like we've progressed. No, we haven't, and it's just it's a it's a wider like. I'm not. I talked so much about my disdain taintain disdain for Um football culture, and this is just like yet another fucking reason it's discussing and it permeates our society, in our culture, like the whole that football has on Australian culture. I mean we were reading the arctics and articles this morning before we started recording, and nine sports was describing them in headlines as the manly seven rebels. Oh my God, the rebels. The rebels, do you mean the biggots? Do you mean the fucking homophobes? Do you mean the men that were scared of a rainbow? Do you mean people hiding behind religion as a way to oppress an entire group of people and its sexual orientation and fundamental identity? Call it what it fucking is exactly. I don't want to see any fucking sports at logos. I don't want to see fucking domestic violence perpetrators...

...running out into the field. I don't want to see any of these fucking people who fuck dogs on camera, who fucking take videos trying to sexually assault women on camera and then get a fine and are taking personal leave the next week. I don't want to fucking see ten articles before I see your fucking allegations and I want to see way and carry on fucking channel seven. I don't want to see these men main fucking Taine what they're doing. I'm so sick of it and this is just another fucking brick in the fucking wall. I don't know what to do with it and I don't know how to fix it, and we can't until we see this panel where it's five of the most washed up men aside the most beautiful, hot, traditional beauty standard blonde woman that's just trying to fit in, who they throw to once every ten minutes to say one line and asked the wagger question. Do we see some genuine equality that's not just for tokenistic reasons? I don't know what to do. It's so fucked up and like I I was I was involved in religion for multiple years. So, like, I fucking know what it said. I know what the Bible says. The Bible doesn't say anything about gay people and especially doesn't especially tells you not to judge thy neighbor like there's nothing love that neighbor, even if you actually look at like. That's not in the what is that? Do you wanber that tiktoka sound? It's like, Um, I'm not sure what's going on here, but I was thinking suspicion is not in the name of Christ like. That's not that's not Christianity and I hate Christianity, but that is not it. That is not it, and this is controversial, but I will I will continue to argue for this Christianity in the way that I perceive it at its fundamental care when you read the values of the Bible, and not word for word, but when you take it as more like a metaphor for how to live your life, it actually is quite a beautiful thing. The way that religion is applied in our culture is fucked up. It's not correct. I think the fundamental core values of Christianity are lovely ideas, but way those translate for conservative culture, they warp it and they make it about control and power and institutional and systemic damage that's caused to minority groups. That's not what it's supposed to be. The way that it's applied here on earth is fucking terrible. But I don't think it's evil fundamentally. I think it's the way that people wield it exactly. And also, like, the other thing is, and I guess I'm kind of like arguing against my own point, but, like, if religion is such a nice thing, then tell me why the fucking pope covers up child sex abuse. Come on, come on, and thence and then, like, I just find the way that we um that society protects these like religious freedoms at the not even like and doesn't protect other like freedoms to be yourself and live your own identity. But like, and it's not even that. It's like we're protecting religious freedoms at the expense. Well know, my view is actually that religious freedoms are a legal mechanism through which that they allow others to oppress us. Exactly, literally religious freedom is translated, I would say, they're saying, let's fuck you up and let's protect that in law. Right, but I'm serious, like, when you look at religious freedoms, you're actually UM limiting the separation of church and state, and what you're instead imposing is that religious views fall above and in terms of power structures. Religious views are more important and more prioritized than the rights, the fundamental human rights, of minority groups. Because if religious so like, okay, for example, a religious freedom might be a doctor doesn't have to perform certain procedures like contraceptive abortion, blah, blah blah. So what you're saying is legislating a religious freedom means I'm going to prioritize the rights of a doctor to have a Christian views and basically to exploit those views to their not perform essential healthcare on other individuals. Right, that's what it is. It is a legal mechanism through which people are to funk others over, and I will stand by that to the death. fucked, fucked, fucked, and I just like the way...

...and I um, I guess it's like a whole another topic, but it's another good example, like the fact that Pauline Hansen is outraged by and by an acknowledgement of country in fucking red in the Senate. But like no one's saying about the Lord's prayer. That's fucking said right before it funk off the fun. The Lord's prayer off. Fuck it off, suck it off. I am actually offended that they do a prayer in parliament. Truly, this is not a Christian nation. It is a nation that has sixty plus thousand years of first nation's heritage. There is a point to doing an acknowledgement of country. There is no fucking point to the Lord's prayer. Kristen Pauline Hanson's aboriginal haven't you heard? I'm surprised you didn't like it because it was about her and I think it comes back to the article that you wrote a few days ago. We actually had someone on cheek messages. I'm not sure I showed you this message, but she went to a message request and I saw it and it was like, you have such influence. Stopped talking about Pauline Hansen. That's the whole point of the fucking article. That's the whole point of cheek. The whole point of cheek is to say and and and I think it's the same sort of argument we come to topics like Carl Sander lands, like these shock jocks obviously want to get a response out of us. Obviously, but to ignore them is also to give them power, because you the Standar you walk past is a stand accept and I'm sick of being quiet about it and thinking it's better just to pipe down, because then they'll feel like it didn't matter. No, what that means is that it's normalized and that there. And you know what, it's kind of like the Grandmar family lunch that keeps spouting the races bigoted language. A lot of the time you go, Oh, it's just grandma, and then over time it gets worse and worse and worse, because by not feeding it, you are inherently feeding as well. So it's either you draw attention to it and say that's not on. And sure, some people might think, Oh, you're reacting, which just makes it worse. No, I don't really give a fuck, because the more times that we talk about it and the more times that shared online, the more people might stop and question it next time. But also think about how many, and not all of them, but like how many of our parents generation and their parents generation have lived and died by that idea that like leave it alone, don't make a fuss. Where have the whether the fund has that gotten us like that's not sorry, that's not working, and this is what I always say about the patriarchy. Sorry, it's not working. Put all women in charge and non binary people, like the Patriarchy has not served us. Shutting the funk up and being quiet has not served us. So it's time to do something different. And it's like we can't we we actually cannot fucking ignore these people anymore, because every time we let them go off, they influence others, like, and to use the example of grandma. So Grandma's a you know whatever, racist person who goes on about all this ship art family lunch. And then what about the rest of the family? Like, how many people in that family could actually get influenced into thinking that is a normal and okay thing to think? And sure US arking up and calling it out might make one other person at the table laugh and join grandma, but it might make three not exactly not join that view, and that's what's important, or even just have a think about and be like interested. Also, racist Paul and Hanson has a seat at the table. I don't have that same seat at that same s sanate. We can't know, but it's like rabb being silent doesn't get you the seat exactly, and she didn't get it by being so. It's so ironic to me that someone would say like, don't use your platform to talk about point Hanson. Can you hear yourself? We have a platform, people are listening. What don't use your don't use the platform to call out pullin answers racist. Seriously, that post reached hundreds of thousands of people and I'm sure at least one of them didn't really care about the point handser thing until they saw it. But yeah, but it wasn't very well and I will fucking die by that as well, because it's like, okay, imagine this podcast if we just shut the funk up. Okay, by we're here today to talk about nothing. Everything Great. Silence is how you solve the problem. Let's defeat Patriarch,...

...let's defeat conservative governments. Everybody be quiet, stop talking about and stop talking about anything, just the weather. Just look down. Look down. I fucking hate that logic to make. It just makes no sense and I'm so fucking sick of it and I will literally fight anybody on this manly seagle ship. I absolutely will come and find me. Line up at the door. Line up you don't want to be docs. No addresses at my house. I preferred to do it online because I don't like people. Are you scared of a rainbow? No, I'm very brave, very brave. You are the Rainbow and the rain. I'm the attempt at ally, but I've got to be told. I'm in Alle I can't declare myself. I called you one at the start, so that that expands at least to the end of the podcast. Than you can apply for renewal later. Abolished football, abolished football, abolish, Pulling Hansen, bring back with death penalty. If you didn't find US completely insufferable, come back next Wednesday for a new episode. You can also find us on instagram at cheek media co or online cheek media DOT COM. Donate. Yes, that's the one. THAT'S THE ONE H.

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