James Faulkner’s Instagram post caused a reaction across the cricketing world. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
James Faulkner’s Instagram post caused a reaction across the cricketing world. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Insta post proves some cricketers just don’t get it

JAMES Faulkner's unfortunate social media post has done nothing to erase the suspicion the bubble boy syndrome is still alive in Australian cricket.

No, it was not the crime of the century and nor did it warrant the global interest it received.

And it's true that many news networks were at fault for snatching at the story without checking it.

To the casual observer who had never met Faulkner the story looked 80 per cent right - the trouble was the truth lay in the other 20 per cent.

Before it was posted - by anyone - it demanded a fact-checking phone call which was never made, a sad statement of a news-hungry world where one man's wink is another man's word.

But still, the fact that Faulkner could put out a post like that and not expect to light a bushfire shows, by the most sympathetic possible interpretation, a naivety which has become a trademark of certain pockets of Australian cricket.

When you declare someone your boyfriend with a solemn respectful photo and mention "five-year relationship'' with no major clarification how did you think it was going to be interpreted?

In 142 years of Test cricket there have been 458 men wear Australia's baggy green cap yet not one of them have ever admitted to being gay.

With that sort of volume of numbers there would have had to have been gay players among them but no player has ever openly admitted it, which was partially why Faulkner's post was such big news.

And it is also why Cricket Australia cringed at the criticism of fans on social media who opened fire on Faulkner for what they thought was mocking behaviour of the gay community, especially when they saw Glenn Maxwell's "great courage'' reply.

Faulkner and Cricket Australia were at pains to point out it was not a joke but it was a chastening reminder to all sportsmen with an itchy trigger finger and a phone nearby to be careful where you tread.

The fact that the post had no nuance was a setback and a saviour for Faulkner.

Had it had even a cheeky, winking emoji it would have triggered more outrage but the fact that it simply presented two unexplained facts meant people were open to interpret the detail as they wished.

And they did.