Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Israel Folau to meet Rugby Australia over controversial social media post

Israel Folau to meet Rugby Australia over controversial social media post

Wallabies star Israel Folau was summoned Thursday to a meeting with Australian rugby chiefs over his use of social media after sparking a backlash by saying gay people were destined to go to hell. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God'.

The comment has since been deleted, but screenshots of the exchange have drawn condemnation online.

Rugby Australia said it supported "all forms of inclusion", while major sponsor Qantas said Folau's opinion was "very disappointing".

Some social media users called on the airline to end its sponsorship of the team.

"Israel Folau's personal beliefs do not reflect the views of Rugby Australia", said a spokesman. "We are aligned in our view that rugby is a game for all, regardless of sexuality, race, religion or gender, which is clearly articulated in [the Australian Rugby League]'s inclusion policy".

"We understand that Israel's comment has upset a number of people and we will discuss the matter with him as soon as possible". "We come from many different lands and we're different individuals but we share the same common goal of wanting to be the best and represent our friends and family and fans as a team", Hooper said from Tokyo on the eve of the Waratahs' Super Rugby clash with the Sunwolves.

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Folau sparked controversy a year ago when he came out against marriage equality and said he would vote "No" in the country's postal vote.

Qantas, Rugby Australia's main sponsor, has been an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage and was asked whether they would continue their contract after the comments.

"I don't believe he's allowed to stand up and express what I term hate speech against homosexuals", Mr Delaware said.

"I guess it doesn't change anything for me and my mindset is still first hand with what's going on here with the Wallabies".

Mr Delamere says under the Immigration Act that's enough to turn him away at the border next time he comes to play rugby here. I stay true to myself and what I believe in.

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