Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

OTD: Israel Folau finds himself in hot water again

By PA
Israel Folau (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia and New South Wales Waratahs terminated Israel Folau’s contract over discriminatory social media posts on this day in 2019.

ADVERTISEMENT

The then 30-year-old was warned about his behaviour the year before, but avoided any disciplinary action, for making homophobic comments on his social media channels.

Folau was reminded of his social media obligations by RA chief executive Raelene Castle and there were also threats from sponsors of the Australian national team that they would withdraw support following his posts.

Video Spacer

The Toughest Sport on Earth – Big Jim Show | RPTV

Former Wales skipper Sam Warburton joins Jim Hamilton to discuss whether rugby is in fact the toughest sport on Earth, and how it should be documented. Watch the full Big Jim Show on RugbyPass.tv

Watch now

Video Spacer

The Toughest Sport on Earth – Big Jim Show | RPTV

Former Wales skipper Sam Warburton joins Jim Hamilton to discuss whether rugby is in fact the toughest sport on Earth, and how it should be documented. Watch the full Big Jim Show on RugbyPass.tv

Watch now

An RA statement read: “As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.

“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.

“Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.

“Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In this latest incident, a message published on Folau’s Instagram account read that “hell awaits” for “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators”.

Folau said on Instagram: “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.”

Folau featured in 73 Tests for Australia and was signed with the Waratahs for another three years in a deal that ran till 2022, but had his contract terminated early.

The ex-Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos and Catalans Dragons full-back now plays for Japan Rugby League One club Urayasu D-Rocks and represents Tonga at international level under a new rule that allows him to represent the country of his parents’ birth.

ADVERTISEMENT

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

D
Diarmid 9 hours ago
Players and referees must cut out worrying trend in rugby – Andy Goode

The guy had just beasted himself in a scrum and the blood hadn't yet returned to his head when he was pushed into a team mate. He took his weight off his left foot precisely at the moment he was shoved and dropped to the floor when seemingly trying to avoid stepping on Hyron Andrews’ foot. I don't think he was trying to milk a penalty, I think he was knackered but still switched on enough to avoid planting 120kgs on the dorsum of his second row’s foot. To effectively “police” such incidents with a (noble) view to eradicating play acting in rugby, yet more video would need to be reviewed in real time, which is not in the interest of the game as a sporting spectacle. I would far rather see Farrell penalised for interfering with the refereeing of the game. Perhaps he was right to be frustrated, he was much closer to the action than the only camera angle I've seen, however his vocal objection to Rodd’s falling over doesn't legitimately fall into the captain's role as the mouthpiece of his team - he should have kept his frustration to himself, that's one of the pillars of rugby union. I appreciate that he was within his rights to communicate with the referee as captain but he didn't do this, he moaned and attempted to sway the decision by directing his complaint to the player rather than the ref. Rugby needs to look closely at the message it wants to send to young players and amateur grassroots rugby. The best way to do this would be to apply the laws as they are written and edit them where the written laws no longer apply. If this means deleting laws such as ‘the put in to the scrum must be straight”, so be it. Likewise, if it is no longer necessary to respect the referee’s decision without questioning it or pre-emptively attempting to sway it (including by diving or by shouting and gesticulating) then this behaviour should be embraced (and commercialised). Otherwise any reference to respecting the referee should be deleted from the laws. You have to start somewhere to maintain the values of rugby and the best place to start would be giving a penalty and a warning against the offending player, followed by a yellow card the next time. People like Farrell would rapidly learn to keep quiet and let their skills do the talking.

1 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING 'He warms up bench pressing 150 kilos': Younger brother of All Black set for Blues debut Younger brother of All Black set for Blues debut
Search