Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Folau escapes sanction for anti-gay remark

Folau escapes sanction for anti-gay remark

The Wallabies star wrote on Instagram on April 4 that God's plan for gay people was "hell. unless they repent of their sins and turn to God".

Early this month, Folau refused to apologise for comments about gay people, but admitted he was "disrespectful".

Folau also revealed he told Castle he was ready to walk away from his contract immediately "if she felt the situation had become untenable - that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn't be worked through".

He had even informed Rugby Australia in a formal meeting last week that he was prepared to leave the sport, Folau wrote on website Players' Voice.

"But I would like to explain to you what I believe in, how I arrived at these beliefs and why I will not compromise my faith in Jesus Christ, which is the cornerstone of every single thing in my life".

He said he was willing to walk away from his contract over the issue.


His comments were described as "very disappointing" by Qantas airlines, a major sponsor of Rugby Australia, while worldwide referee Nigel Owens, who came out as gay in 2007, said such comments could contribute to young people taking their own lives.

Australia's Israel Folau jumps to catch the ball and score a try above Scotland's Greig Tonks.

The 29-year-old explained that at no point over the two weeks following his social post did he want to have his contract torn up, despite the rumours that had been circling.

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What has Rugby Australia said now?

Folau (pictured representing Australia against the All Blacks in 2017) detailed his meeting with Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle and NSW Waratahs general manager Andrew Hore.

Following last Tuesday's meeting, Castle conceded that it was a hard issue "trying to combine religious beliefs, freedom of speech, inclusion, respect and the use of social media".

"In his own words, Israel said that he did not intend to upset people intentionally or bring hurt to the game".

"Since my social media posts were publicised it has been suggested that I am homophobic and bigoted and that I have a problem with gay people".

He revealed he was "really disappointed" with some of the things that were said in a press conference after the meeting, accusing Castle of misrepresenting his position.

The offer to break the contract, which finishes this year, was not in order that he could return to rugby league, Folau added, amid speculation that several National Rugby League (NRL) clubs were interested in signing him.

Gibson, though, said the Waratahs were hopeful that Folau would remain.

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