Australian cricketer James Faulkner has denied widespread reports that suggested he was coming out on his 29th birthday. In a social media post, the Aussie cricketer appeared to be coming out publicly for the first time with a picture of himself with boyfriend (later edited to best friend) and mother. Cricket Australia has apologised for the ‘unintended offence’ this may have caused.
The original post saw him sitting, at a restaurant, with mother Roslyn Carol Faulkner and Rob Jubb. Faulkner stated he and Jubb have been in a relationship for five years. “Birthday dinner with the boyfriend @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner #togetherfor5years,” read the caption on Faulkner’s Instagram post.
However, he later clarified that he was only good friends with Jubb and it was five years of being housemates. He wrote, “There seems to be a misunderstanding about my post from last night, I am not gay, however it has been fantastic to see the support from and for the LBGT community. Let’s never forget love is love, however @robjubbsta is just a great friend. Last night marked five years of being house mates! Good on everyone for being so supportive.”
In relation to the global reports, CA said in a statement: “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. He was not contacted for clarification before some outlets reported his Instagram post as an announcement of a homosexual relationship.
“James and CA are supportive of the LGBQTI community and recognises coming out can be an incredibly emotional time. The post was not in any way meant to make light of this and, though the support from the community was overwhelming and positive. Cricket Australia apologises for any unintended offence.”
Steven Davies is the only publicly gay male international cricketer and three gay male cricketer overall are Davies, George Cecil Ives and Alan Hansford.
England’s Davies was the first international cricketer to come out openly as gay when he made the revelation in an interview in 2011.
Faulkner has represented Australia in one Test, 69 ODIs and 24 T20 Internationals. The all-rounder had won the Man of the Match award in the 2015 World Cup final which Australia had won by beating New Zealand by 7 wickets. He last played for his country in October, 2017.
Earlier this month, New Zealand women cricketer Hayley Jensen tied the knot with former Melbourne Stars teammate Nicola Hancock. All-rounder Jensen, who has featured for Stars in the first two editions of the Big Bash League, switched to local rivals Melbourne Renegades for the third season, while Hancock still represents the Stars in the Australian T20 league.
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