GBOTA chairman Geoff Rose caught in Facebook storm

A STORM threatens to erupt over the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association following online controversy from one of its most prominent board members.

NSW GBOTA chairman Geoff Rose publicly apologised on Christmas eve 2014 for a series of posts on Facebook that were deemed offensive and in poor taste.

That apology has not satisfied some association members, who have threatened to quit if more action is not taken.

Following complaints in October and November, Rose was asked to explain the posts and survived a vote from the board, retaining his position.

That “slap on the wrist” has incensed several NSW greyhound trainers, who say more should be expected from a man who represents almost 2000 members.

Bob Whitelaw, a former member of the GBOTA, said he could not believe Rose had held his position after what he had seen on his Facebook page.

Whitelaw, who has been involved in the greyhound industry for more than four decades as a breeder, trainer, owner and member of numerous boards, said Rose’s comments only hurt greyhound racing.

“I really couldn’t believe that he came out with those comments. The saddest thing for me is that he represents so many people and I don’t think he realises the responsibilities that come with that,” Whitelaw said.

“Our industry has been painted in a terrible light, especially in the Muslim community.”

The images at the centre of the controversy (some pictured below) included “ban the burka” snapshots and a picture making light of an obese woman.

Geoff RoseGeoff RoseWhitelaw said that GBOTA members deserve better representation.

“I left the association some time ago, but if I was still a member, I would have resigned immediately after seeing what he posted,” he said. ”I know other trainers that have done exactly that.”

As many as three NSW greyhound trainers who did not want to be named have confirmed to AustralianRacingGreyhound.com.au that they have left the association because of Rose’s online comments.

One GBOTA member who won’t be leaving is Llandilo native Tony Gannon.

Gannon, who describes himself as a ”breeder, trainer, owner and mug”, has been in the industry for 43 years. He said he was made aware of the pictures from offended Muslim friends.

“I have some Muslim friends that are just fantastic people and one of them asked me if I knew Geoff Rose and then showed me some of his Facebook posts,” Gannon explained.

“They were quite upset and shocked that someone in his position would say such things.

“I took the matter to the association and also approached the Lebanese Muslim Association, apologising on behalf of the industry. To say they were upset with the generalisations they saw was an understatement.”

Gannon wasn’t satisfied with the response from the board.

Geoff Rose“I was told he’s done nothing illegal, but to me, this isn’t what it’s about,” Gannon said.

“This guy represents over 1000 owners, breeders and trainers and he does us all a disservice when he makes these kind of statements in a public domain.

“Anyone else in any other respected position like his would either resign or be asked to resign immediately.”

Gannon said he would not be leaving the GBOTA.

“I know quite a few people have quit, but I’m not going anywhere. The association needs all the votes it can get to bring about real change.”

The man at the centre of the controversy, Geoff Rose, told AustralianRacingGreyhound.com.au the whole thing had been blown out of proportion.

“This isn’t about what I’ve put on Facebook – this is more about certain people doing anything they can to remove me as chairman and take control of the association,” Rose said.

“I’ve already apologised on the GBOTA website and my Facebook page – I did not intend to offend anyone.”

You can read Rose’s apology on the GBOTA website here.

Rose admitted to a ”stuff up” in how people would interpret a picture of an obese woman, but said he used the picture as inspiration for a close family member.

The GBOTA chairman said he could “not recall” posting, sharing or commenting on other pictures, saying he was struggling to grieve the loss of his mother at the time.

Rose said that following the complaints, he felt he had the full support of the board, who voted on his position.

“I can tell you that the majority of the board were more than happy for me to stay,” he said.

“I never considered resigning my position. I have a job to do for the members who voted me in and I’m not going to leave because a couple of people are trying to get rid of me.”

Past Discussion

  1. Good on him most of us think the same just to spinless to admit it , im a trainer and im friends with other trainer’s whom have posted similar stuff its on his page not gbota page he is entitled to his opinion just as islam is ….who f#%king cares why are Muslims even doing looking at his page just looking for more reasons to be angry ???? Its Australia relax ..

  2. Good on him most of us think the same just to spinless to admit it , im a trainer and im friends with other trainer’s whom have posted similar stuff its on his page not gbota page he is entitled to his opinion just as islam is ….who f#%king cares why are Muslims even doing looking at his page just looking for more reasons to be angry ???? Its Australia relax ..

  3. This is gutter journalism at its lowest, we now have the two things that should not be in sport Politics and religion, In Australia Muslim people can do what they want which is the right, yet they do not support Greyhound racing or Gambling, again there right.
    We have a thing called freedom of speech and because this was on his own website and not that of the GBOTA who has the right to say what Geoff should say or think, he does this position Voluntary “Nil Pay” as all directors do.
    I never hear anyone complaining about his views when they ring him at Home and ask if they can trial at his track anytime.
    He gladly goes down and opens the place up for anyone who needs to run their dogs try that at the bulk of other tracks.
    Geoff loves his position and his track and trying to provide better outcomes for the industry, its a shame some of his board does not think like that and see fit to stoop to gutter tactics to get their points across under the pretense of this is what the members want.
    GBOTA membership costs $5 a year to join, lets hear from all the members loudly what they want and not the hearsay of 3 supposed members who are upset or maybe they have resigned because they have the same thing on their facebook sites
    Maybe these are the same three members who were upset when I brought to the GBOTA board about having an evening during the Mardi Gras celebrations on a Monday night to utilize the facility of Wentworth Park and we all know how many people turn up at Wentworth Park on a monday night, only ever seen 1 of the three directors who run the place there, must be beneath them to attend their shame.
    Homophobic reactions from them and yet the gay community is one of the industry’s strongest supporters through the adoption program, but we cannot get involved as a small group of narrow minded people say we cannot. Go Figure
    Bob tell the truth you resigned from the GBOTA before your inquiry at the GBOTA even finished costing the association $20,000, not even waiting for the final outcome.
    Tony your display at the recent AGM of the GBOTA was disgraceful and only requires one member to make a complaint and you will be held accountable for your display.
    how low can people go in this industry, Wake up and start questioning the motives of some of these people.

  4. This is gutter journalism at its lowest, we now have the two things that should not be in sport Politics and religion, In Australia Muslim people can do what they want which is the right, yet they do not support Greyhound racing or Gambling, again there right.

    We have a thing called freedom of speech and because this was on his own website and not that of the GBOTA who has the right to say what Geoff should say or think, he does this position Voluntary “Nil Pay” as all directors do.

    I never hear anyone complaining about his views when they ring him at Home and ask if they can trial at his track anytime.

    He gladly goes down and opens the place up for anyone who needs to run their dogs try that at the bulk of other tracks.

    Geoff loves his position and his track and trying to provide better outcomes for the industry, its a shame some of his board does not think like that and see fit to stoop to gutter tactics to get their points across under the pretense of this is what the members want.

    GBOTA membership costs a year to join, lets hear from all the members loudly what they want and not the hearsay of 3 supposed members who are upset or maybe they have resigned because they have the same thing on their facebook sites

    Maybe these are the same three members who were upset when I brought to the GBOTA board about having an evening during the Mardi Gras celebrations on a Monday night to utilize the facility of Wentworth Park and we all know how many people turn up at Wentworth Park on a monday night, only ever seen 1 of the three directors who run the place there, must be beneath them to attend their shame.

    Homophobic reactions from them and yet the gay community is one of the industry’s strongest supporters through the adoption program, but we cannot get involved as a small group of narrow minded people say we cannot. Go Figure

    Bob tell the truth you resigned from the GBOTA before your inquiry at the GBOTA even finished costing the association ,000, not even waiting for the final outcome.

    Tony your display at the recent AGM of the GBOTA was disgraceful and only requires one member to make a complaint and you will be held accountable for your display.

    how low can people go in this industry, Wake up and start questioning the motives of some of these people.

  5. I suppose the Sydney siege and the recent events in Paris aren’t being committed by those devoted to the religion of peace either. Gutter journalism at its finest ARG getting Whitelaw and Gannon to comment.

  6. I suppose the Sydney siege and the recent events in Paris aren’t being committed by those devoted to the religion of peace either. Gutter journalism at its finest ARG getting Whitelaw and Gannon to comment.

  7. a lot of things offend me but thats life. And i dont go back to the site to see if there is anything else that would  offends me. If anything offends you do you go back. But of course if you were a Muslim you would just so it can stir up trouble .so wake up Australia be Alert .

  8. a lot of things offend me but thats life. And i dont go back to the site to see if there is anything else that would  offends me. If anything offends you do you go back. But of course if you were a Muslim you would just so it can stir up trouble .so wake up Australia be Alert .