#188 Split-Circle Play

Bias in sport is an ugly beast.

Just yesterday I found myself umpiring my own club, including girls I’d coached previously. I actually didn’t notice who was on court until I went over to check their nails and saw myself face-to-face with ‘my girls’.

Next though: Ugh, this is not good.

For the record, I would have really preferred to not have to think about the bias at all. I found myself in the first half, pulling up my own club probably more than I should have so there were no complaints.

This included pulling up a defence for obstruction outside the circle, which set up a classic play with one defence in the circle, attempting to deal with two attackers. If the attackers know what to do, which they did, they’ll split the circle, forcing the defender to stand in the middle with a difficult intercept to try to pull off.

Not easy.

However, when it comes to bias in sport, there’s been a fair bit of chat in Sydney this week about the Manly Sea Eagles and their Pride Round (during the Women in League Round…??)

Unbeknownst to the players, Manly’s Rugby League team was to don a rainbow jersey for this week’s game. Seven players, who weren’t consulted, stated that they would not play, due to religious and cultural reasons.

It’s fascinating the amount of times the words ‘inclusive’ and ‘2022’ came up in the surrounding chat.

Inclusive actually means inclusive if everyone is included. Inclusive actually means inclusive if everyone’s viewpoints are accepted.

Apparently in 2022 however, inclusive means everyone has to think the same.

‘You do you… until it disagrees with my point of view.’

From then on, it’ll be indoctrination.

It is 2022 after all.

I cannot think of a time when I or anyone I know in a Church context, have ever forced someone to wear something related to the Christian faith, and when they didn’t agree with it.

I cannot think of a single time when a religious agenda has been pushed in that manner, that I’ve experienced. Yet, that’s the type of bias that has occurred here.

I think sports have overstepped the mark here. This sort of bias is ugly and completely takes away from what’s supposed to be going on – inclusive sport.

As a Christian, these things are concerning and hypocritical. I go to my job everyday and I keep my religious beliefs – which some would call bias – out of my job. I am inclusive of everyone at my workplace. I respect them, whoever they may be.

And I do this because I know I’ll be told that I cannot bring my biased opinions into my workplace.

On that I agree. Neutrality, especially in a public school, is as it should be.

However, why are some allowed to bring their bias in and force it upon others in their workplaces?

It’s concerning hypocrisy and ‘in 2022’ seems to be making for more and more challenging situations.

You get to wondering what God’s doing to do about it. It really does seem like, for Christians, the world is becoming more and more of a challenge to live within.

Not easy. Much like a split-circle with only one defence.

Until you remember what God is like.

Manly Sea Eagles. Bias in sport. Claims of inclusivity swirling through hypocrisy.

It’s a challenging situation but I reminded myself that God knows what to do. If he wants to step in, he can. He is all powerful. He knows those seven men and that they stood up for Him. And he knows the ongoing difficulties that they will face.

The situation may look increasingly challenging for them, but when it comes to God…

Too easy.

Oh, and the defender standing in the middle of that split circle? I coached her two years ago. I knew she knew what to do.

Too easy.

Yours in reading the play,


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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