Israel Folau knew the posts would be “offensive” to a lot of people.
Sacked rugby player Israel Folau has told the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) that not only did he know his homophobic social media posts would offend many, but that he would “absolutely” post them again.
Back in 2018, he posted that “Hell awaited” gay people unless they repented their sins. And earlier this year, he shared another message warning that gay people would “end up in Hell” if they didn’t repent their sins. Following this post, he was fired.
After Tasmania made gender optional on their birth certificates, Folau posted: “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.”
Multiple media outlets reported Folau telling the ACL: “I knew it was going to be offensive to a lot of people.” He added that he “absolutely” would post the messages again and that him becoming a born-again Christian is what led to his change in his social media.
He also claimed that “ultimately it’s a message of love” in regard to the social media posts.
Folau is currently embroiled in a legal case against Rugby Australia following his sacking. A statement from his lawyers said: “The applications were filed against both Rugby Australia Ltd. and Waratahs Rugby Pty Ltd. confirming the rugby star’s intent to seek a declaration that his employment was unlawfully terminated because of his religion.”
In a statement, Folau said: “No Australian of any faith should be fired for practicing their religion. The messages of support we have received over these difficult few weeks have made me realise there are many Australians who feel their fundamental rights are being steadily eroded.”
It should be noted that there are plenty of Christians who are able to practice their religion without spreading anti-LGBTQ bigotry.
And Folau asked fans to pay his legal fees for him after launching a crowdfunder on GoFundMe. However, this was shut down, after raising A$700,000, due to a violation of the platform’s rules.
“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” said spokesperson Nicola Britton.
“While we welcome GoFundMe’s engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion. Our platform exists to help people help others.”
Another crowdfunding effort launched by the ACL managed to raise the money for the multi-millionaire.