Recently sacked Australian rugby star Israel Folau has shared a video on YouTube in the hope of raising money to continue his legal action against Rugby Australia.
Folau was sacked last month by Rugby Australia after a code of conduct tribunal over an Instagram post he shared in April, saying hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators” and “Repent! Jesus saves”.
He launched another attack on gay people and also criticised young people being allowed to change gender during a sermon at his Sydney church last Sunday.
The former rugby union star described homosexuality as a sin and claimed the devil was behind primary school children being allowed to decide if they wanted to change gender.
Now, Folau has set up a gofundme page with the aim of raising $3m AUD to continue his fight against Rugby Australia. He claims that it has already cost him and his wife $100,000 AUD so far. This is the video he has shared:
Folau has remained insistent throughout this ordeal that he is entitled to freedom of expression and religion. This has created a major debate amongst the rugby world as to whether he should have been entitled to do this, with some believing that it is hate speech.
Furthermore, this is made even more complicated based on Folau’s contract, and whether he was permitted to say something like this, after a similar situation the year before.
View this post on Instagram
So far, many current and former players have backed the decision to fire Folau, while there have also been many who disagree with Rugby Australia. It has been one of the rugby world’s biggest stories over the past year, and it looks like it will not die down with this latest video.
While the 30-year-old’s career in Australia looks likely to be over, regardless of the outcome of his legal battle, he has been thrown a lifeline recently by Tonga, for whom he could potentially represent in the 2023 World Cup.
For now, he is set to miss the World Cup in Japan later this year. The 62-cap international was arguably the Wallabies’ biggest player, which only makes this saga more damaging for Rugby Australia.
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