James Faulkner's Instagram Posts Remind Why There Aren't Many Openly Queer Sportspeople

James Faulkner wrote that the person who he had called 'boyfriend' in the previous Instagram post, was actually just a friend

The world, queer and straight, let out a collective sigh when Australian cricketer James Faulkner posted a picture on Instagram about having a birthday dinner with “boyfriend”, and wrote “#togetherfor5years”.


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Birthday dinner with the boyfriend (best mate!!!) @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner #togetherfor5years

A post shared by James Faulkner (@jfaulkner44) on

This led many to believe that the all-rounder had opened up about his sexuality, which would have been a watershed moment in the history of cricket had it been true. Many even came out in support of the cricketer’s apparent coming out:

However, hours later, Faulkner clarified that there was a “misunderstanding” about his previous post and that he wasn’t actually gay. He wrote that Robert Jubb, the person who he had called ‘boyfriend’ in the previous post, was actually just a friend and that they were marking five years of being “house mates”.

This led to mix reactions, with some claiming that Faulkner had made a mockery of the LGBT movement, which others said that the term of endearment was blown out of proportion.

The backlash though was significant, as Cricket Australia had to put out a statement, apologising for any ‘unintended offence’ that might have occurred because of the Instagram post.

“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.”

However, the entire incident has put the spotlight back on the lack of players who openly identify as LGBTQ+ in cricket and other major sports. In 2011, former English wicketkeeper-batsman Steven Davies was one of the first active players in Cricket to open up about his sexuality in an interview.

Last year, South Africa women’s cricket team captain Dane van Niekerk married her teammate Marizanne Kapp. They were only the second couple to marry after New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite and Lea Tahuhu got engaged in 2014, before getting married in 2017.

In football, equality campaigners condemned homophobic chants during a match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Old Trafford stadium in the UK on April 28. In 2018, France’s World Cup-winning striker Olivier Giroud said that it was “impossible” for a professional footballer to come out as gay. He also mentioned that it was “an understatement” to say that the sport is not ready to accept an openly gay player after former German international player Thomas Hitzlsperger come out in 2014.