No winners in the Folau saga? That’s rubbish
FORMER Wallaby Mark Gerrard, among others, has opined there are "no winners" in the Israel Folau affair. I disagree.
Israel Folau is a winner.
No matter which way the whole shemozzle ends up - and it's still got a long way to go - Folau can't lose.
This is a man who sincerely believes his path has already been mapped out by a higher power.
Everything he does, and the consequences of those actions, in his mind are preordained.
So how can he possibly be unhappy with the outcome?
The Prayer of St Francis begins, "Lord let me be an instrument of your peace."
Folau believes he is just that, an instrument of his maker whose purpose in life is to spread God's word.
That might not fall into line with the social media policy of Rugby Australia but in terms of seniority, I'm pretty certain Folau would rate Raelene Castle a few rungs down the ladder below his lord and saviour.
As for having his $4 million contract torn up, so what?
If he really wants to play rugby again I'm sure there would be any number of clubs outside the auspices of RA or the NRL who would love to have Folau on their books and pay very good money to make it happen.
He has shown in his career so far that he is not a man adverse to change, having already played three codes of football, and there are places, notably France, where the only set of beliefs important to owners and coaches is the belief that a player can win games.
But is Folau really all that interested in football fame and fortune, or is he now seeing it as just a stepping stone that helped him better fulfil his real purpose as a Christian preacher?
That being the case, it has worked a treat. In the past few weeks, Folau has managed to reach more people with his message through one tweet than 100 church ministers could achieve with a lifetime of Sunday sermons.
OK, that message might not have been universally accepted and it might have hurt and offended many people in its delivery - it might have also split the already wobbly Wallabies and brought Rugby Australia to its knees financially - but that is not Folau's concern.
All that matters to him is doing the right thing by his God and in his mind - and in the minds of those who share his beliefs - he has done just that.
To them he is a shining light and as he continues along his chosen calling he will be buoyed by a joyous certainty of self-righteousness.
He's a winner - and he's not the only one.
A few weeks back when this whole unfortunate episode first reared its ugly head I spoke to a prominent Brisbane solicitor and asked his opinion on how it would end up from a legal standpoint.
"I must admit I have no idea," he said. "But tell me this: has he got a lot of money?"
I told him he did.
"Well," he said. "That's the only certainty. He's going to make a lot of lawyers very rich."