The latest homophobic rant from Israel Folau is set to be the most costly to date as he now faces the sack, according to a statement issued out by Rugby Australia (RA) on Thursday.
A post on the Wallaby fullback’s Instagram sparked controversy on Wednesday as he listed homosexuals among eight groups “destined for hell” if they do not “repent”.
Following the backlash from the post, RA revealed it had been trying to contact the 29-year-old and his representatives, and signalled that its intention was to terminate his contract.
The statement reads;
“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 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.”
End of the road for Israel Folau
The latest incident comes a year after he was given a slap on the wrist after making a similar statement on Instagram in an interaction with a follower.
Asked what “God’s plan” was for homosexuals, Folau responded that it was “hell, unless they repent”.
The rugby league convert – whose contract with the Wallabies was meant to run until 2022 – had posted a controversial Tweet a year prior, where he spoke out against gay marriage.
RA said it had made it clear to the player that his online conduct was unacceptable.
“As a code, we’ve made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media post or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people will result in disciplinary action.
“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”