Rugby Australia and Israel Folau have ended one of the biggest feuds ever seen in Australian sport after the two parties reached a confidential settlement following the former Wallabies star’s sacking earlier this year.
Folau claimed he was unlawfully sacked because of his religion by Rugby Australia in May after he condemned homosexuals to hell and labelled the legal recognition of transgender and intersex Australians as “evil” across two social media posts.
Both parties underwent hours of negotiations with a court-appointed mediator in court and over the phone this week, and reached an agreement on Wednesday afternoon.
The Season: Hamilton Boys High School – Episode 4
Rugby Australia released a statement in conjunction with Folau and NSW Rugby in the wake of the agreement, whereby the parties recognised the damage they had caused each other and apologised as a result.
“Rugby Australia, NSW Rugby and Israel Folau have today settled their legal dispute following the dismissal of Israel Folau after he posted a religious message on social media (the Social Media Post),” the statement read.
“The Social Media Post reflected Mr Folau’s genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the Social Media Post. Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
“Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby do not in any way agree with the content of the Social Media Post. Inclusiveness is one of Rugby’s core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community. While it was not Rugby Australia’s intention, Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folau’s. Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.
“Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future. The Parties do not intend to comment further on the terms of their settlement as it is confidential.”
More to come…
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now