Rugby Australia to Fire Israel Folau Over Anti-LGBTQ Social Media Posts

He had been warned to stop the behavior last year.

Rugby Australia has declared its intention to terminate Israel Folau’s contract over his anti-LGBTQ social media posts.

The Wallabies and New South Wales Waratahs standout recently took to social media to resume the practice of proselytizing for his Christian faith, while claiming LGBTQ people, among others, are going to hell if they don’t repent. He also criticized a Tasmanian law to make gender optional on birth certificates.

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Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________

A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on

While he previously escaped punishment for similar posts last year, he was warned at the time that his behavior was in violation of league policy.

Folau went on record saying he would rather lose his career than tone down his rhetoric, and now it appears the decision has been made.

Israel Folau
Mark Kolbe / Staff

Rugby Australia immediately distanced itself from Folau’s post, noting its integrity unit was looking into the situation. On Thursday night, it released another statement, this time saying it had been unable to contact the player to discuss the issue, and announcing he would likely be let go.

The statement, credited to Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle and NSW Rugby Union CEO Andrew Hore, reads:

Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation.

Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.

Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality.

Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated.

As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.

In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.

Back in February, Folau posted to Instagram celebrating signing a contract extension for the next four years, saying he owed it all to God and Jesus.

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