Here’s everything I know about rugby: Ross from Friends once hurt himself while playing it just to impress Emily.
Maybe I need to pay more attention, though, because Ryan Walkinshaw, the 24-year-old who inherited the chairmanship of Gloucester Rugby (An English team), is a vocal atheist:
His scorn is based on their often zealous religious stance, which he is at turns mystified and incensed by. ‘I hate the word “belief”,’ he said. ‘I think about things scientifically.
‘I read a lot of books about science and the history of religion. One of my heroes is Christopher Hitchens, who was a game-changing anti-religious writer — showing it up for what it is. I don’t understand why someone can spout their God stuff, but atheists have always had to keep quiet.
‘Just because you have an opinion, it doesn’t mean it has to be respected unless it is supported by evidence. We live in the most exciting time in the history of the sciences. Reading about that is far more exciting than reading about a burning bush or a guy who builds an Ark.’
Whether or not Walkinshaw’s fascination with science and dismissal of religion will ever have a bearing on his running of Gloucester is unclear. In truth, it’s unlikely. But it shows he has the courage of his convictions and that can only be good for his club.
Even better than that is the fact that the locals don’t seem to care about his atheism. They just care about how he manages the team and all signs point to him doing a great job so far.
You can add that to your Giant List of Things That Would Never Happen in America.