Israel Folau made a fatal acknowledgement on the first day of his code of conduct hearing, in what may have been the moment that sunk his rugby career.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Folau finally admitted he understood that his social media posts could offend people, after an intense cross examination from top lawyer Justin Gleeson SC.
After expertly avoiding the admission by repeatedly pointing back to the words from his social media posts being from the Bible, Folau’s lawyers stunned Rugby Australia by admitting to a low-level breach of the player’s code of conduct, reports the Telegraph.
Over the next few days of the hearing, Gleeson continued to grill Folau as to whether he could take his controversial post down and guarantee not to make a similar post in the future.
However, Folau could not guarantee either as he believed he would go to hell if he deleted the post.
“Izzy was getting told he’d go to hell if he took down the post,” a source told the Telegraph.
“But if he had removed that image and re-posted word for word what the [Bible] verse says, they couldn’t have sacked him.”
At that moment, the case was essentially done: Folau had admitted to an offence, didn’t want to rectify that offence, and couldn’t offer any promises that he wouldn’t repeat the offence.
Another option could be taking up the case with the Fair Work Commission by lodging a complaint for unlawful dismissal on religious grounds. He will have until June 10 to begin that process.
This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission.
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