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We looked at the T&Cs on GoFundMe. There’s no question that Israel Folau breaches them.

In just three days, Israeul Folau’s GoFundMe page has raised $628,880 of his $3 million goal.

The once celebrated rugby player claims his former employer, Rugby Australia, unlawfully terminated his $4 million contract, and he wants to fight back.

“After I uploaded the messages from the Bible, my employers, Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW, tore up my employment contract. As a result, I have lost my job, my livelihood, and the ability to play for my country. It looks like I will never be allowed to play rugby in this country again.”

Israel Folau wants your support (and your money). Post continues after video.

Video by GoFundMe

However, what he fails to mention on his GoFundMe profile is that those particular “messages from the Bible” were from an Instagram post in which the star fullback wrote, “Warning: Drunks. Homosexuals. Adulterers. Liars. Fornicators. Thieves. Atheists. Idolaters. Hell awaits you.”

The 30-year-old accompanied the controversial post with select quotes from the Bible in the caption, writing: “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.”

 

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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. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________

A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on

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That post put him in “high-level” breach of RA’s professional players code of conduct, however it wasn’t the first time the rugby player expressed anti-gay sentiments on social media.

In 2018, Folau made an explicit comment on Instagram about “gods [sic] plan for gay people.”

“HELL [is gods plan]” he wrote. “Unless they repent for their sins and turn to God.”

His views on gender inclusivity were equally as problematic.

Responding to Tasmania’s new law in April 2019, which made it the first Australian state or territory to make the inclusion of gender optional on birth certificates, Folau shared his thoughts on Twitter.

“The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free,” he wrote.

Then on May 17 this year, Rugby Australia took action. They sacked him.

“Rugby Australia did not choose to be in this situation, but Rugby Australia’s position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue this course of action,” said Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle at the time.

“When we say rugby is a game for all, we mean it. People need to feel safe and welcomed in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion, or sexuality.”

Despite this, Folau has since launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission, stating his religious freedoms were breached, along with that particular clause in his contract.

But to pay for his legal fees, he’s crowd-sourcing them through GoFundMe, and it’s working. Three days into his campaign, the ‘Israel Folau Legal Action Fund’ is still trending, with 8,402 (and rising) people donating to the cause.

However, according to GoFundMe’s Terms and Conditions, the page seems to be in definite breach of their policies.

According to Number 8, Section A of GoFundMe’s Terms and Conditions, campaigns which they deem to be in support of, or for the legal defence of, the following crimes are prohibited.

“Campaigns we deem, in our sole discretion, to be in support of, or for the legal defence of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases,” the website clearly states.

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Israel Folau GoFundMe

While the wording gives GoFundMe the discretion of what is or isn't in support of "hate, violence, harassment et al." a Change.org petition has started imploring the crowd-funding platform to remove Folau's page.

So far the petition has garnered 11,068 signatures in just two days, with that figure rapidly rising.

According to creator of the campaign, Jay Taylor, the Sydney-based man says Folau's campaign is "dragging the ARU [Australian Rugby Union] and Christians through the mud".

"How is it fair that a man who has millions in property is allowed to ask for money to fight legal fees where he not only broke his contract but discriminated against many different people in the world saying it was based off religion," he wrote on the petition page.

"There is a disclaimer at the bottom of his Go fund me page that speculates that he can do what ever he wants with the money that he is given as it is a gift. Which means it may not even go towards his legal fees at all.

"The GofundMe terms and conditions state that is prohibited to use their services to raise funds that contribute to any campaign with the explicit purpose of involving the legal defence of hate, discrimination, intolerance of any kind relating to sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity."

Israel Folau GoFundMe
Image: Change.org.
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UK man and rugby fan, Robbie Owens, has also created a counter GoFundMe page, stating that "Israel Folau's intolerance will not be tolerated".

Setting the goal to mirror that of Folau's $3 million goal, Owens says all funds will be donated to Stonewall, a UK charity which campaigns for the "equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain". The charity also champions the Rainbow Laces initiative which aims to promote the inclusivity of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in sport.

Israel Folau GoFundMe
Image: GoFundMe.

"I want to donate to Stonewall , the charity responsible for the rainbow laces initiative adopted across sport. Their mission is to make it clear to LGBT individuals that they are not alone, that they are supported, seen, and understood," wrote Owen on the campaign page.

"This includes increasing inclusivity in sport, be that rugby or otherwise."

Currently trending, the campaign has raised £5,698 ($10,473.85 AUD) of it's £1.6 ($2.94 AUD) million goal.

Mamamia has reached out to GoFundMe for comment.

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