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News: Ian Roberts speaks out on Footy Show

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Matabele, May 17, 2009.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    <p class="standfirst"><strong style="display: block">REMEMBER Matthew Johns' apology on <em>The Footy Show</em> last week? This is what followed in the minutes immediately after that apology.</strong></p> <p>And this is how deep the program's problems are. </p> <p>Just after Fatty slapped Matty on the back, reporter Tim Sheridan introduced a sketch about "the other Johns brother", the youngest sibling in league's famous family, the brother who never really fitted into the family, the one who's been forgotten all these years, the one dad Gary doesn't really like to talk about. </p> <p>Remember, this is before the story of Matthew's involvement in group sex really exploded. </p> <p>Who's the other Johns brother? Elton. Elton Johns. Get it? Why do you think he didn't fit in? Because he was gay, of course, gay like Elton John the singer, a real total pansy nancy boy.</p> <p>It was done up just like a <em>60 Minutes</em> story on the life of Elton, the forgotten brother - all about how Gary and Andrew and Matty were really embarrassed that they had a gay boy in the family, and how Elton was going to give up singing and become a footballer, to try and fit in. </p> <p>Elton Johns was really Matty, wearing a blond wig and big glasses and with a gap between his teeth, just like the real Elton John. We saw little Elton being dragged to the hospital by Gary, who pulled him up to the triage desk and said "I want to return this. It's faulty."</p> <p>Andrew said it was hard having a gay brother. "I think the hardest decision was on Matthew, whether to get out in the backyard and play footy with me, or to mince about with Elton. I'm surprised he turned out to be so straight in a way. Sometimes I see glimpses of Elton in him. Like dad, I'm so ashamed of him."</p> <p>Matthew Johns, playing Elton, said: "Dad only knew I was gay when he walked in on me and my boyfriend Ian."</p> <p>"You dated Ian Roberts?" asked Tim Sheridan.</p> <p>Now we're getting to the heart of the gag. Ian Roberts, as regular viewers of <em>Footy Show</em> sketches know, is the only top-level Australian league player ever to openly admit to being gay. He knows something about league's attitudes on sex. He's endured years of homophobic jokes, snide remarks, innuendo, mockery.</p> <p>On The Footy Show, his name is invoked as a joke in its own right - it always elicits a chuckle.</p> <p>Matthew/Elton: "I've decided to quit performing. Had a coffee with Knights coach Brian Smith, and I've accepted an offer to trial. It's a big call, not only because I'm quitting performing, but the fact that I've rooted for the Roosters all my life."</p> <p>Ian Roberts was sitting at home watching that night. </p> <p>He wanted to be sick. Roberts had felt nauseous ever since he'd heard about Johns' group sex incident.</p> <p>He'd tuned into <em>The Footy Show</em> to see what Johns would say, and was disappointed that the apology, and Johns' subsequent remarks, have focused mainly on the pain of his own wife and family.</p> <p>About the girl involved, Johns has repeatedly said he's sorry for her "embarrassment and pain" - implying that although she was an entirely willing participant at the time, she is now motivated by shame and anger.</p> <p>"It was almost like he was the victim, that she asked for it," Roberts told me. "My God - that poor woman has suffered for all this time.</p> <p>I've been hearing talkback callers this week saying she's being vindictive, that she asked for it. My God, she was 19!</p> <p>"It's taken her seven years to mature. She was totally outnumbered in the room. She was a defenceless human being.</p> <p>She was alone with all those men, and none of them said, 'Come on, guys, that's enough.' Not one of them was man enough to admit to this before now, and none of the other men who were in that room are brave enough to own their actions, to step up now and say 'Yeah, it was me.'</p> <p>"And anyone who says she asked for it - shame on you. She was just a kid."</p> <p>Roberts knows what The Footy Show is all about. In 1997, he was interviewed by Paul Vautin on the show. "We heard you were gay," Vautin said, "but we thought, 'That couldn't be right because he's too decent a bloke!' "</p> <p>The Elton Johns sketch didn't make Roberts laugh. </p> <p>"I was really disturbed to see Andrew Johns involved in that sketch, and Tim Sheridan," Roberts said.</p> <p>"Guys, what you don't understand - you think it's funny, but there are gay kids in the suburbs who are killing themselves because they don't know what to do about their sexuality. They kill themselves.</p> <p>"This poor girl has spoken about suicide. This is not a joke any more."</p> <p>The Footy Show blokes have always made it clear to Roberts the gay jokes aren't personal. </p> <p>"They've always said to me 'Come on, Robbo: it's a joke, we don't mind that you're gay.' Well, I don't mind I'm gay, either.</p> <p>"I'm not talking about me. You can't hurt me. But you know what guys? There are kids out there you do affect."</p> <p>After the Elton Johns sketch ended, Vautin promised more skits to come. </p> <p>You might want to check with the boss first, Fatty. </p>

    <a href="http://www.silvertails.net/news/Sea-Eagles/ian-roberts-speaks-out-on-footy-show.html">Read the full article</a>
     
  2. missing_something

    missing_something Active Member

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  3. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Understand where he is coming from, but also think it is partly another example of PC going a bit OTT
     
  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dr Neanderthal.  I suppose you'd side with some of the Queensland loonies that called for all poofs to be lined up against a wall and shot.
     
  5. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

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    What is the source of that story?

    Roberts doesn't usually speak to the media, I'm just interested to see who he actually spoke to...
     
  6. Mark from Brisbane

    Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

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    Didn't watch the footy show and haven't for years, it's garbage like that which turned me off the show in the first place.

    As for Ian Roberts, it took a LOT of guts for him to 'come out" and to be honest I admire him for doing so, if he was offended by the show then it's even more reason to get rid of it, or should I say get rid of the people who are on it.

    At least the Sunday footy show and Roast are actually about football!!
     
  7. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    LOL, you keep trying to fire the shots, but your aim is well off Mata

    When I was about 11-12, I used to go to the neighbours place to watch the footy, and a couple of her mates were Lesbo's that used to watch with us. 1 of my mates growing up was gay, and my ex girlfriend worked at a call centre where 90% of the blokes were gay and I mixed with them too, so before labeling me your anti gay garbage, get some facts together

    I saw the thing mentioned, and it did not come across as anti gay or anything like that imo. Just a harmless bit of fun that these days is getting swept away in the full on PC stuff. I also have a chuckle at a few Maori jokes, suppose that would have me labeled a racist in your world too
     
  8. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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      That was in the Daily Telegraph.  That would probably give a glimpse of the depth of his feeling on the issue.

    Partially read his biography over the holidays.  Some of the hate mail written to him when he came out was horrendous.
     
  9. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    It is a good read Mata, read it last season
     
  10. gomanly

    gomanly Member

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    your posts are long and boring, especially when they have no real point like this dribble. Who cares.
     
  11. kingyfan

    kingyfan Member

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    Claire Harvey from the Telegraph.
     

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