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"You need to shut your mouth, John" | Kevin Kilbane condemns teammate's comments

In response to the news that Rugby Australia have decided to terminate Israel Folau's contract a...



Soccer

"You need to shut your mouth, John" | Kevin Kilbane condemns teammate's comments

In response to the news that Rugby Australia have decided to terminate Israel Folau's contract as a result of a homophobic social media post, Kevin Kilbane shared his own experience of dealing with the negative consequences that the expression of such beliefs can cause. 

"When I was at Hull, we had a player there called John Bostock," Kevin Kilbane recalled on OTB AM.

A highly-talented youngster who made his Championship debut with Crystal Palace at the age of 15, Kilbane first encountered the English midfielder when the latter joined Hull City on loan during the 2010/11 season.

Recalling a young man "with deep religious beliefs," reports that Rugby Australia have decided to terminate Israel Folau's contract after the Waratahs players released a homophobic social media post, Kilbane's mind came back to his experience of John Bostock.

"We were playing a game down at Crystal Palace on a Saturday," Kilbane outlined, "and we were sitting around over breakfast talking, and he was trying to - would I want to say brainwash? - instil his beliefs on a number of the lads.

"This guy was only 20, 21 years old at the time, but I disagreed with a number of the things he said."

In what was a particularly personal area of interest for Kevin Kilbane, John Bostock, a member of the Christian faith, publicly expressed his belief that sinfulness in an earlier iteration of life is the cause behind those who are born with a disability.

"Obviously, I have a daughter with Down Syndrome, special needs," Kilbane explained, "and he was basically saying to me that people with special needs and their parents are being punished for their former lives.

"I was like, 'John, you've got to shut your mouth now because you don't realise what you're saying.

"When he realised he was obviously very apologetic, but this was his belief."

Kevin Kilbane

An incident that halted Bostock's willingness to speak with the absolute freedom that he had hitherto thought acceptable, Kevin Kilbane also discussed a later incident whereby he had reason to question the suitability of a managerial decision regarding Bostock's faith, and the allowance to express it.

"Around Christmas time Nigel Pearson, the manager at the club, gave Bostock and his preacher a platform to preach to us," Kilbane remembered.

What amounted to a discussion on the Christian importance afforded to the festive season, the former Irish international explained how he dealt with Pearson's decision to allow it take place, nevertheless.

"I went to see Nigel afterward," he said, "because we didn't know anything about it beforehand.

"We were given this lecture for half-an-hour about how wrong we were to do what young lads were doing.

"It was extremely uncomfortable for everyone concerned in the room. As the most experienced player there, I went to see Nigel Pearson after.

"I told him he could not let anything like that happen again, and to be honest he didn't really know what it was about."

Described as an attempt by John Bostock and his preacher to recruit members of the Hull City squad into their faith, Kevin Kilbane highlighted the complicated issues such stark individual views can generate when expressed within a collective unit.


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Hull City Israel Folau John Bostock Kevin Kilbane