Wallaby back Folau has caused controversy after homophobic comments.
Israel Folau Sparks Fury With Anti-Gay Comments
Israel Folau, arguably the Wallaby with the highest media profile, has again sparked controversy after his comments about homosexual people going to hell.
On Instagram, Folau said that God’s plan for gay people was “HELL…unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”
This was the not the first time he has made his opinion clear on this issue. Six months ago he tweeted his opposition to gay marriage ahead of a marriage equality vote last year.
Rugby Australia have been quick to distance themselves from Folau’s comments, and his comments appear to directly contradict Rugby Australia’s inclusion policy which was introduced in 2014.
The policy states “Rugby has and must continue to be a sport where players, officials, volunteers, supporters and administrators have the right and freedom to participate regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion and without fear of exclusion. There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words both on and off the field must reflect this.”
What makes these comments even more perplexing is that Folau was the face of the Bingham Cup in 2014, which is an amateur gay rugby tournament.
As you would expect their has been a huge backlash to Folau for these comments, with Wales legend Gareth Thomas being quick to voice his displeasure at the Australian.
Thomas was the first openly gay rugby player and has shown his contempt for Folau’s views on more than one occasion.
As mentioned above, Folau was against the idea of gay marriage when he sent out this tweet:
To which Thomas replied:
Folau’s contract runs out at the end of this year and Rugby Australia, along with the Waratahs, are looking to re-sign him. Folau himself has stated he doesn’t know what he will be doing next year, saying how he has played in a World Cup and he is leaving his options open.