Japan captain Michael Leitch has sent a message to Israel Folau on Twitter calling for the Australian to apologise for comments he made yesterday.
Folau recently posted content on Instagram based on his religious beliefs that have created an enormous backlash from all over the world. Subsequently, Rugby Australia are set to terminate the Waratah’s contract, after he made similar comments last year.
In light of this, Leitch, who plies his trade with the Sunwolves in Super Rugby, has said “we can’t accept this kind of behaviour”. The 30-year-old called out Folau to apologise and comment on what he has said, as what he is doing is “wrong”.
— MichaelLeitch??????? (@g_leitch) April 11, 2019
Leitch said that 73-cap Australia international is a “fantastic player” and he is “sure that you’re [Folau] a nice guy”, but he is part of a growing number of players and former players that are criticising Folau.
In another video post which appears to have been subsequently deleted from his timeline Leitch said:
“Israel Folau I am calling you out. I thought your first comment regarding gays going to hell was outrageous, but this latest post is…this is out the gate and it’s so wrong on so many levels. I respect your religion and what you believe in, but using social media to almost preach your views. It connects to so many people and everyone is not the same.
“There are so many people out there who are homosexual, atheist, people that drink for different reasons. There are people out there that are struggling with mental health. So to go out and say that if you are homosexual or one of those types of people you’re going to hell – that’s a real stab in the heart.”
Former All Black Adam Thomson has also criticised the former NRL and AFL player on Instagram, saying he “doesn’t belong in the game of Rugby Union”.
This comes only days after Folau became the highest try scorer in Super Rugby history, eclipsing Doug Howlett’s record. With the World Cup on the horizon, the 30-year-old was also the Wallabies’ main hope of success in Japan, but that very much seems in doubt now, although Rugby Australia may allow for “compelling mitigating factors”.
Folau is yet to make a further comment, and Rugby Australia have not had any contact with him either, as his future remains unclear.
Watch: Folau views again court controversy
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