Israel Folau’s contract with Rugby Australia is set to be terminated following a post on Instagram from the Waratahs star that stated that homosexuals among other groups are sinners and will be sent to hell unless they repent.
Accompanying the photo was the following caption “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.”
This led to Rugby Australia releasing a statement which stated “”In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”
This is not the first time Israel Folau has been accused of exhibiting homophobic behaviour due to his devout Christian beliefs.
This will not have been an easy decision for Raelene Castle and Andrew Hore to have made. We are just five months away from the 2019 World Cup and Israel Folau is undoubtedly a key player for the Wallabies.
This decision though is widely supported and makes a statement that this sort of unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated.
Previously athletes have got away with awful offences including domestic violence and assault but the contract termination has shown that there are human beings behind the corporate logo and image presented by some of sport’s most prominent governing bodies.
What’s next for Israel Folau? It’s unlikely any other Super Rugby franchise will take the fullback and a move to England is unlikely with their currently being a massive focus on culture and team spirit in England and a the divisive nature of Folau’s comments will not have gone down well.
Folau may see if any of his previous employers in the AFL or NRL are interested in the multi-talented player. He could also join the rugby revolution going on in Western Australia. One thing’s for sure Folau will no longer be Rugby Australia’s golden boy.
A very brave and strong decision by Rugby Australia, I for one support them.