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What did Israel Folau say? The hateful anti-gay comments threatening rugby player's career.

-With AAP.

NSW Waratahs and Qantas Wallabies star fullback Israel Folau has come under fire for social media comments he has made against the gay and transgender communities.

So, what did Israel Folau say?

In a post to Instagram, his 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

Rugby Australia swiftly released a statement condemning the comments by the former NRL and AFL star, who is a devout Christian, and now face a moral dilemma about Folau’s future in the sport just five months before the World Cup in June.

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.

“Rugby Australia is aware of a post made by Israel Folau. The content within the post is unacceptable,” the statement said.

“It does not represent the values of the sport and is disrespectful to members of the rugby community. The Rugby Australia integrity unit has been ­engaged on the matter tonight.”

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Folau’s Super Rugby team the NSW Waratahs have also released a statement this morning condemning his comments.

Folau also shared a message on Twitter in response to Tasmania’s new law making it the first state or territory in Australia to make the inclusion of gender optional on birth certificates.

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.

Qantas has not yet commented on Folau’s most recent posts.

The fullback’s social media activity has drawn reaction from around the rugby world.

“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.

“The more players, fans, clubs and organisations that stand up for equality, the sooner we kick discrimination out and make sport everyone’s game,” former Wales international Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, responded to Folau’s comments on Twitter.

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“I don’t write this with hate or anger after Israel Folau’s comments. I write with sympathy,” the 44-year-old wrote.

“To everyone who reads it, don’t be influenced by his words. Be the better person and be YOU. Whoever YOU is..Hell doesn’t await YOU. Happiness awaits YOU.”

International Gay Rugby, the global organisation for the world’s gay and inclusive rugby clubs, also hit out at the 30-year-old.

“The effects these hateful comments will have on LGBT people are enormously harmful,” the organisation said in a statement:

“We want all LGBT athletes out there to know that rugby is a sport where you are welcome and respected, a sport of values that doesn’t allow for such bigotry or discrimination of any kind.

“We are taking a keen interest on the findings of Rugby Australia’s Integrity Unit when they meet tonight and applaud the union for taking the stance that these kinds of comments are unacceptable.”

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