Australian cricket star James Faulkner clarifies birthday post: ‘I’m not gay’
Australian cricket star James Faulkner has clarified the meaning behind an Instagram post that was widely interpreted as being his coming out.
Faulkner shared an Instagram photo of his birthday meal with his mother and a man, Rob Jubb, he identified as “the boyfriend.”
After receiving various messages praising his bravery and wishing him well for his birthday, as well as making global headlines as the first Australian cricketer to come out, Faulkner published a clarification to his 340,000 Instagram followers on Tuesday (April 30).
“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,” he wrote.
In the April 29 post that caused confusion, he had written: “Birthday dinner with the boyfriend @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner ❤️❤️❤️ #togetherfor5years”
Fellow cricket players reacted to the post congratulating Faulkner. Cricketer Glenn Maxwell wrote: “Happy birthday mate! Great courage.” Cricket legend Brett Lee chimed in: “Good on ya mate. Have a lovely birthday Jimmy.”
Faulkner, who has played for the Australian international cricket team since 2012, was born in Tasmania, which was the last Australian state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1999, though attitudes have since become more progressive.
England’s Steven Davies was the first international cricketer to come out as gay in 2011.
Davies later told PinkNews: “I really think things are improving, since I came out, I have experienced no problems, it’s been great… it’s almost been like people have approached with the attitude and said ‘so what! No one cares!’
“It really has been like that, I’m not hiding any bad stories that have happened, it really has been a great thing for me personally but everyone has taken it really well.”
“For some people their private life is their private life, and they want to keep it that way, and that’s fair enough, if you are ready to come out and want to do it: great, I’m sure everyone will support you, but some people don’t want to and they want to keep their private life private.”
Cricket still has problems with homophobia
Although cricket has more openly gay figures than some other sports, there have been high-profile homophobic incidents in the past.
West Indies cricketer Shannon Gabriel was handed a four-game ban in February after making homophobic comments to England captain Joe Root on the field.
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He had said: “Why are you smiling at me? Do you like boys?”
Root was widely praised for his measured reply, telling his opponent: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
Gabriel accepted a charge from International Cricket Council over the remarks he made to Root.
This article has been updated to reflect James Faulkner’s clarification of his post.