Earlier his week, on Monday 11th July, I hosted a live stream conversation with Steve Rains and Clive Dobbin who represented 19 Britball teams (now 23, I believe) in a recent request for an EGM to discuss 6 proposals – see our article on this here.
During the live stream former BAFA Director of Operations, Steve Rains, shared the news that the British American Football Association (BAFA) include a gagging clause in the contracts of the Coaches involved in any GB Program that prevents them from speaking out against BAFA.
Steve said “I know that in the National Program contracts, there’s a clause that says ‘anybody involved in the National Program can’t speak out against BAFA.”
For me, this is just another example of BAFA trying to cover their arses and keep their awful operations out of public forums. It reeks of a company that exist in fear of being found out and reprimanded.
Steve Rains went on to explain that he has had people that are bound by this dodgy clause approach him for advice to the point where he actually contacted BAFA Chair Nichole McCulloch.
Steve explains “I had some people on to me about ‘daring’ to speak out against BAFA, to disagree with them. And I actually wrote to Nichole (BAFA Chair) and said ‘look, have I suddenly found myself now in a Stalin-ist organisation where an opposite opinion is completely unwelcome?'”
Steve said that he received a convincing response from the BAFA Chair that the organisation welcome input regarding solutions to problems in the sport.
My view is that if BAFA are such an open and inclusive organisation then why not remove the clause?
As someone who covers this British game from a media perspective, I’ve always taken feedback and criticism of my own content/views from those involved with BAFA, BAFRA or BAFCA with a pinch of salt as I think that many of them are convinced that I am a troll within the sport, a narrative created and regularly leveraged by BAFA officials. I also think that these people have been afraid of criticising BAFA, and in fact will blindly support them, because they don’t want to be frozen out of the GB Programs.
However, knowing now that this clause exists means that I can reasonably assume an ulterior motive when such feedback or comments are directed at my content. Put simply, those involved in GB Programs, or looking to be involved, have had the credibility of their views and opinions taken away by BAFA.
If you’d like to watch the live stream referenced in this article, you can do so below.