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ADDED ON: 01/15/2021

Steelers: How anti-gay row inspired rugby film

01/14/2021 | BBC

Conventional perceptions around sexuality, gender and manliness are challenged in a new documentary about Kings Cross Steelers – the world’s first gay rugby club. The film, called Steelers, shows how the club literally saved the lives of some of its players. Yet it was a story that nearly did not get told at all. Israel Folau, the international rugby union star sacked by Rugby Australia for saying that “hell awaits” gay people, was allowed to resurrect his career with a controversial cross-code move to Super League side Catalans Dragons in January 2020. Folau, a Christian, argued the termination of his contract was a case of religious discrimination and eventually reached a settlement with Rugby Australia.”When I saw this Israel Folau thing blow up I was like, ‘You know what? I have to tell this story,'” explains the former Steelers player, who now lives and works in the States. “His bigotry kind of inspired this film in a way and got it happening again. Because there are kids that are seeing what he’s saying and it might be affecting them, and I needed to counter that with this film. “That’s when I decided to put my story in it.”

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