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Barnaby Joyce argues sports stars like Israel Folau have the right to express “utterly dopey” opinions

Former Nationals leader and general ignoramus, Barnaby Joyce, reckons new religious freedom laws should give people – particularly celebrities – the right to express “completely and utterly dopey” opinions.

Joyce was referring to rugby star Israel Folau’s recent situation, saying that Folau’s anti-gay views ought to have been an issue only if it affected his ability to perform on the field. The former Nationals leader told ABC Radio: “I think a lot of what Folau said is just completely and utterly dopey. But it’s his right to be dopey.”
“We’ve got people who are a pain in the arse and they’re in every office, but we can’t just go around sacking them because they’re annoying.”
Folau was recently sacked by Rugby Australia for sharing social media posts saying gay people, as well as drunks and liars, should all go to hell.
“If there is a nexus between what you do and what you say then there is a question over whether you can do the job. But if there is no nexus, in this case a man who is employed to run very fast, carry a white ball … what does it matter what their views are?,” Mr Joyce told the ABC.

Joyce recently attended a political briefing in Canberra to discuss a planned ‘Religious Discrimination Act’.

In his radio interview, he extrapolated on his views by extending the notion of expression of opinion into the general workplace, saying: “We’ve got people who are a pain in the arse and they’re in every office, but we can’t just go around sacking them because they’re annoying. If someone is a complete and utter dill, then they’re going to find themselves socially isolated and out of the job.”

Ultimately, Joyce did say that “the goal is to not discriminate.”

Antonino Tati

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