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Israel Folau sacked by Rugby Australia over his hateful anti-gay comments. It's about time.

— With AAP.

Rugby Australia has told Israel Folau it plans to terminate the Wallabies superstar’s $4 million contract after his latest social media attacks on homosexuals.

Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle and NSW Rugby Union CEO Andrew Hore issued the following statement on Thursday night.

“Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation,” the statement said.

“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.

“Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated.

“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.”

Rugby Australia’s major sponsor Qantas has also responded to Folau’s comments.

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“These comments are really disappointing and clearly don’t reflect the spirit of inclusion and diversity that we support,” a statement from Qantas said.

“We are pleased to see Rugby Australia’s condemnation of the comments and will await the outcome of their review.”

What did Israel Folau say?

In a post shared to Instagram yesterday, Folau’s image read: “Warning: Drunks. Homosexuals. Adulterers. Liars. Fornicators. Thieves. Atheists. Idolaters. Hell awaits you.”

 

View this post 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. _______________ 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

Folau is under contract until 2022, has won 73 caps and is a key part of Michael Cheika’s plans for the tournament in Japan. His comments go against Rugby Australia’s inclusion policy.

Last year Folau angered his employers by making similar anti-gay messages on social media.

Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle opted not to sanction Folau at that point, despite his comments angering Wallabies’ name sponsor Qantas, which threatened to pull its support.

“Folau’s comments are just one example of how much work is still left to do to combat discrimination and the use of hateful language against lesbian, gay, bi and trans people,” Kirsty Clarke, director of sport at British-based LGBT charity Stonewall told PA Sport.

“It’s important that Rugby Australia have stepped up to challenge Folau’s abusive comments.

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