No rainbow flags allowed at Folau’s debut


folau religious freedom rainbow flag catalans dragons
Image: @AlisonGrey91 /Twitter

Catalans Dragons insisted on no rainbow flags at Israel Folau’s debut match for the team. Club officials forced two fans to remove flags during the match.

Folau recently signed a contract with Catalans Dragons, agreeing to make no public comments on homosexuality.

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Catalans Dragons won the game against Castleford Tigers at Perpignan in France.

During the game, one man draped a rainbow flag over a railing high in the stands.  A security official asked him to remove the flag because it covered part of an advertising hoarding.

Meanwhile, officials insisted Alison Grey, who attended the game wearing a rainbow flag, remove it.

Health and Safety

“Firstly I was told it was against health and safety. Secondly, because it is against club policy.”

After the match, the Catalans Dragons confirmed they asked for the removal of the flags. However, they refused further comment before Monday when they claim they will receive the ‘security report’.

Catalans coach Steve McNamara dismissed questions about the flags.

“I’m here to talk about football, not about political or religious views or whatever else it may be.

“I’m here to talk about rugby league, that’s what I know that’s what I do.”

Despite repeated questions at a post-match press conference, a club spokesperson consistently ignored questions about Folau and the controversy surrounding him.

However, the club later issued a statement promising to look into the matter.

“Rainbow flags are not banned at our club. It is not forbidden. We are gathering more information about what happened.”

Super League also promised an investigation.

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“Everyone should have the right to respectfully express their views. We are investigating. We will receive a full report by the end of this weekend and have more details by Monday.”

Upcoming Pride Day match

While Catalans Dragons erased any sign of the LGBTIQ communities at this game at their home field, they will have more trouble on 22 March. They then play the Wigan Warriors at Wigan’s home ground.

Immediately after Catalans Dragons announced the signing of Folau last month, Wigan announced that match as Pride Day in support of the local LGBTIQ community.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.