Australian cricketer James Faulkner has clarified he is not in a same-sex relationship after an Instagram caption was “misunderstood”.
The Tasmanian all-rounder (pictured, centre) sparked a social media frenzy when he shared a photo of himself with “boyfriend” Rob Jubb and mother Roslyn to Instagram on Monday.
“Birthday dinner with the boyfriend @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner #togetherfor5years,” Faulkner wrote, attracting messages of support and news stories across the country and around the world assuming the athlete was coming out as gay.
But Faulkner later edited the caption of his post, adding “best mate!!!” in brackets after the word “boyfriend”.
On Tuesday morning, Faulkner explained in a follow-up Instagram post, “There seems to be a misunderstanding about my post from last night.
“I am not gay, however it has been fantastic to see the support from and for the LBGT community. Let’s never forget love is love, however @robjubbsta is just a great friend.
“Last night marked five years of being house mates! Good on everyone for being so supportive.”
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said Faulkner’s post had been “misinterpreted” and Jubb is his business partner.
In a later statement, the organisation apologised for any offence and said it “does not consider the social commentary this morning from James Faulkner to be a joke, nor does James.”
“His comment was made as a genuine reflection of his relationship with his business partner, best friend and housemate of five years,” a spokesperson said.
“He was not contacted for clarification before some outlets reported his Instagram post as an announcement of a homosexual relationship.
“James and CA are supportive of the LGBQTI community and recognises coming out can be an incredibly emotional time. The post was not in any way meant to make light of this.”
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said coming out is “a difficult time for LGBTI people so role models like elite sportspeople should be careful not to be seen to make fun of it.”
“I welcome the fact James Faulkner has clarified this was not his intention and that he supports the LGBTI community,” he said.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to James Faulkner’s ‘coming out’ sends a message to senior players who are actually gay that Australian cricket is well and truly ready for them to be open about who they are.”
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There seems to be a misunderstanding about my post from last night, I am not gay, however it has been fantastic to see the support from and for the LBGT community. Let’s never forget love is love, however @robjubbsta is just a great friend. Last night marked five years of being house mates! Good on everyone for being so supportive.
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