Keep It In The Bedroom, This Is Just Not Footy, It Makes Me Sick

Have you seen this disgusting photograph of Billy Slater passionately kissing his wife Nicole after Queensland won the final State of Origin game on Wednesday night?

It makes me sick. There should be universal public outrage and condemnation of this totally inappropriate public display of affection.

This confronting act took place in full view of thousands of children who there at the stadium – not to mention the millions more watching at home. Won’t somebody please think of the children?

I don’t care what Billy and Nicole do in the privacy of their own home. That’s completely up to them, and no judgement here. Good luck to ‘em. But this nonsense should be kept off the footy field.

State of Origin is about footy – not this crap. Imagine the future players coming through that’d be put off by this display. Let your football do the talking, Billy. Not this. And by sharing the picture, the media and the NRL itself are sexualising football. It’s a disgrace.

If you think I sound like a sad, joyless wanker whose views are seriously warped, you’d be right.

I can hear you now. “What’s so wrong with a man sharing a kiss with his wife after a momentous occasion?” I hear you ask. “It’s a bloody kiss – get over it! There’s nothing wrong with this picture.”

You’d tell me it’s a lovely photograph. And it really is.

But change the names Billy and Nicole to Karina and Vanessa, and what I’ve written above is exactly what countless others wrote just two short weeks ago. I’ve used the same words that were spewed out in a sea of hate-fuelled outrage sparked by the exact same sort of photo.

Women’s Rugby League stars Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki shared their almost identical kiss on June 25, after New South Wales defeated Queensland 16-10 in their State of Origin clash.

The opposing players, who’ve been together in a loving relationship for some five years, were photographed at the conclusion of the match, on the field, in the same manner Billy and Nicole were.

A disappointing and frankly embarrassing social media shit storm quickly followed, after the NRL shared the beautiful photo on Facebook.

The League’s social media moderator fired back, inviting the incensed critics to join the NRL in the year 2018.

(Source: Facebook)

I’d be willing to bet that those same people bleating about Karina and Vanessa’s photo, pointing to it as an example of the impending end of days and the terrifying creep of identity politics, are the same ones who’d tear me to shreds for what I just wrote about Billy and Nicole.

The blatant double standards here aren’t a coincidence. They’re a clear illustration of a homophobia that lingers in Australia and in sport. Big strides have been made – marriage equality, a push for inclusion in sporting institutions that were once off-limits to LGBT people – but we’ve got a long way to go.

If you don’t agree, head on over to the NRL’s Facebook page and read through some of those atrocious comments on the photograph. Then change the names Vanessa and Karina to Billy and Nicole and see how you feel.