Cricketer James Faulkner Apologises After Joking About Being In Five Year Same Sex Relationship
Cricketer James Faulkner is in hot water after posting a photo with his housemate, pretending to be his boyfriend of five years.
The all-rounder uploaded a shot of him, his mate and his mum, captioning it with: "Birthday dinner with the boyfriend...#togetherfor5years."
While that should only prompt applause and excitement for the cricketer to come out of the closet, it seems as though it was all in jest.
The bloke he was in the photo with was just his housemate, who he's lived with for half a decade. But after posting the picture, he started receiving a lot of supportive messages, some from international cricket stars.
Brett Lee said: "Good on ya mate. Have a lovely birthday Jimmy."
Glen Maxwell and former Test quick Shaun Tait wrote Faulkner had 'great courage' for revealing his sexuality to his followers.
This prompted Faulkner to add the 'best mate' bit at the end of the caption, trying to quell speculation that he was gay.
He's since released a statement, saying: "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."
While there were message of support for the Tasmanian player, people were quick to criticise him for pretending to be gay.
we all love james faulkner, the gay cricketer who's a role model for queer youth *literally five seconds later* we regret to inform you the cricketer is [bro voice] no homo- casey briggs (@CaseyBriggs) April 29, 2019
As for his teammates some of them liking James Faulkner post knowing it's a joke...shows that the immature locker room culture still does exist when it comes to joking about someone being 'gay' and running with it. It's not outrage, it's just disappointing- Luke Dennehy (@LukeDennehy) April 29, 2019
congrats to James Faulkner for proving that cricket is still bad- mat whitehead (@matwhi) April 29, 2019
Despite this, it's shown that Australia is open to their sports stars being different. One person wrote: "One day I hope we get to a point where athletes coming out isn't a big deal but we aren't there yet.
"Acknowledging and celebrating the courage of someone like James Faulkner is important to show others that they will be accepted for who they are. A big moment in Australian sport."
Cricket Australia has released a statement, saying: "Cricket Australia 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 house mate of five years.
"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 and, though the support from the community was overwhelming and positive. Cricket Australia apologises for any unintended offence."
Featured Image Credit: PA