Australian cricketer James Faulkner says a social media post implying he was in a same-sex relationship with his housemate was a “misunderstanding”, and that he is not gay
On Monday night Faulkner posted a photo suggesting he was in a five-year relationship with “boyfriend” Rob Jubb.
He wrote: “Birthday dinner with the boyfriend @robjubbsta and my mother @roslyn_carol_faulkner #togetherfor5years” on Twitter and Instagram.
Adding to the confusion, current and former teammates all praised the Tasmanian player, who played 69 ODIs and 24 T20Is for Australia, as well as one Test against England in 2013.
Glenn Maxwell wrote, “Happy birthday mate! Great courage,” sentiments echoed by Shaun Tait, who wrote, “Great courage mate, bet you feel better happy birthday.”
The news spread quickly around with world, with outlets in India, the UK and Australia, including the ABC, all running the story.
But today Faulkner issued a statement on Instagram to clarify his comments.
“There seems to be a misunderstanding about my post from last night,” he wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
Faulkner’s original Instagram post was edited to include the words “(best mate!!!)”.
In an initial statement to the ABC, Cricket Australia (CA) described the original posts as “a joke that has been taken out of context”.
However, in a later statement, the organisation said it did not consider Faulkner’s actions to be a joke.
“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.”
The Twitter and Instagram accounts which posted the initial photo both had the ‘blue tick’ confirming them as being Faulkner’s genuine accounts.
If Faulkner had been announcing he was gay, he would have been the first professional male Australian cricketer to come out publicly.